Chapter 2: Chapter 0
Aurora Kholin, of House Kholin was the daughter of a beggar and one of the poorest men in Maldonia. Even though Maldonia was glamorous and cheerful from the outside, the new comers didnt have that much luck being successful in Maldonia. Many became servants to the nobles and rich men of Maldonia, they worked in houses which had huge armies in the support of the throne. These outlanders got married and had kids, these kids produced a whole new generation of people who went on to serve the King and his nobilities – hence that will explain how Aurora Kholin, of House Kholin came to serve the crowned prince of Maldonia.
They were both young, King Artemis at twenty-four years of age, Aurora was three years younger than Artemis although her impressive thinking and wisdom one may mistake her for an old woman. Thats what really made Artemis fall over head and heels for Aurora, well apart from the fact that she was a beauty Auroras attraction was more of her impressive brain and ability to know whats right and whats wrong.
During the battle with the elves who invaded the kingdom, it was Aurora who advised Artemis to open the exit gate of the kingdom and allow the elves to walk into a trap. Some of the generals though it was risky, stupid and even Artemiss father, King Arteides thought his son had gone mad. The trap they set inside the kingdom was the one meant to end the war, yet the problem was to lure the elves inside the gates. It was crazy and almost impossible, yet Artemis trusted Aurora and executed the plan.
When they won the war Artemis made love to Aurora that night like it was his last. Every time they finished, they continued again and again until their thirst for each other was quenched. The kingdom was safe, or at least for the time being and the sun was shining on a very beautiful day. They were the only ones in the crowned princes compound – no one was allowed in here except for the king and Princes servants.
Aurora sat beside the window looking down on the whole of Maldonia, Artemiss room was up in the palace standing at almost fifth story of the whole compound. The princes compound in Sweet Waters was a bit far from the kings, one had to walk almost five hundred meters if he wanted to see both the king and the crowned prince. Auroras eyes were fixed at the Kings compound, and she didnt even know that Artemis was looking at her.
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The beauty alone was enough to make Artemis gasp; he was speechless for a moment. “Oh heavenly Ra! What a display of greatness” he said and Aurora turned back with a smile.
From where Aurora sat, the breeze of the evening wind came blowing off the curtains slowly and it soothed her. The curtains were so soft made up of silk materials which were transparent hence even when they passed right through Aurora, she couldnt feel a thing other than being relaxed.
Artemis moved closer to Aurora, he was shirtless with just a piece of red scarf covering his private parts. He wasnt that white nor was he dark, he looked like the color of the sun and his newly grown beards just showed he reached puberty not that long ago. His chest was soft and his nipples had formed a circle around itself, his hair was darker and long – it fell down behind his back effortlessly. Artemis had the most gorgeous brown eyes which were sharp in such a way girls used to say the prince when he looks, you might say hes flirting with you but thats how he looks. He also had a set of black thick eyebrows which connected from the left inch, to the right inch of his eyes. To say the less, Artemis was the most handsome king to ever sat in Sweet Waters throne.
“Arent you cold The wind...” asked Artemis his eyes gazing at a completely naked Aurora who seemed to be very comfortable being bare unlike what he expected her to be.
Aurora smiled and fixed her gaze onto Artemis “The wind is the most gorgeous thing I have ever felt, the way it just moves, some say if we let it perhaps one day the wind may lift off the mountains”
“You believe that”
“I believe in what my subconscious mind tells me. What I dream at night, the visions and...” Aurora stopped abruptly. She suddenly looked at the Kings compound with her face looking like she had just seen a ghost.
“Aurora What is it”
“Where is your father” she asked worried.
Artemis was concerned “In his chambers. What is it”
“Was he beaten by the elves Or biten by one, did he encounter them in any way”
“Aurora you are scaring me... what is it”
Aurora suddenly stood up and walked away from the window – the visions tortured Aurora and they have been torturing her for a while. She thought she was cursed, or hexed but Artemis said it was a blessing for her to be able to get a notice before anything bad takes place. Now it was about his father and he knew something bad will happen.
Aurora sat down on the floor and Artemis followed her, he sat right where she was and forced her to look at him. “What is it Aurora Tell me what you see”
“The King, on the bed... dying and -”
Artemis stopped her immediately “When” he asked.
“I cant seem to get the time my lord. But its coming, the elves have hexed His Grace with their poisonous sting and theres no cure for it” she said.
So, from that very day Artemis lived with his father while knowing fully he was closing in on his last days. Artemis summoned a great number of maesters all over Maldonia and away from Maldonia, he asked for one thing and one thing only “The cure for elf hex” way before his father even began to get sick.
He played his part in saving his father but he still died, because it was already written and Aurora saw the visions. Hence even though he loved Aurora for her beauty and aroma, Artemis also loved her more because she allowed him to say goodbye to his father the right way. If it wasnt for Aurora then Artemis wouldnt have known that his father was closing in on his last days.
Sir Lancet just looked at Artemis smelling those gold anklets as if he could see the one they belonged to. He has never seen Artemis like that before, at first he knew of his feelings towards Aurora but he didnt know they were that serious.
“You do really love this servant dont you” asked Sir Lancet.
With all my heart and soul”
“Yet, she is just a servant. I heard rumors she was once a slave... she is not fit to be the queen of Maldonia, her father reeks of rum and vomits. He never misses his drinks, his clothes are full of mud, now tell me Your Grace, is that the man you want for a father in law”
Artemis sighed, he didnt seem offended by Lancets criticism towards the woman he loved. He simply replied “Im not marrying her father Lancet” and then abandoned the anklets and walked straight to his bed. He picked up a trouser which was black and put it on. He reached out for a white shirt which was plain without buttons and pulled it over his head and then a huge robe made up of golden threads fit for a king, this was his fathers usual costume and now it belonged to him – he was ready to go out and face King Taelin and his daughter when he finished the whole outfit with a crown on his head.
“Lets go Sir Lancet” said Artemis when he was ready to leave.
“Artemis, think about it” warned Lancet “This isnt a game, and we are not eighteen anymore. This is the matter of life and death. This is your legacy as the king of the most powerful kingdom in the whole world. Generations after generations will speak of this day, hence let the choices you make this day be the ones you wont sit sixty years later wishing you would had done things differently” that was the best speech Lancet ever gave to anyone and he hoped that Artemis would listen to it.
Like they always say “Never advise a man in love for his feelings will cloud his judgement” and thats what happened that day. Sir Lancet spoke of the most important things which could have helped Artemis in the near future, to avoid the war, securing himself the Sweet Waters throne but he wasnt ready to let Aurora go.
Just when they were outside the chambers making their way to the council room. Lancet asked Artemis again if thats what he wanted to do, he even offered him a moment to think “Perhaps lets take time to think about this Your Grace. Please... I can cancel the meeting for today until you are ready. It can all be done Your Grace, lets not hurry to make this decision”