Chapter 3: Chapter 0
Sir Lancet was worried sick and perhaps thats because he was aware of what King Taelin and people of kingdom of Prophis were capable of. They were the ones who were feared throughout the kingdoms even bigger ones like Maldonia. With an army of over five hundred thousand men loyal to King Taelin, thousands of servants, millions of people residing in Prophis – even a blind man would see that Maldonia didnt stand a chance against Prophis. Perhaps only Artemis didnt see that what he was doing was a mistake.
“Lancet, you are worried for nothing. The king of Prophis didnt even make a proposal for me to wed his daughter. I dont understand where this frustration is coming from” said Artemis making his way to the council.
“He didnt make the proposal yet, Your Grace. What if he does Will you still stand by your decision not to marry his daughter”
Artemis stopped halfway and turned back to look at Sir Lancet “Lancet, we are the most powerful kingdom in the world. We are Maldonians...” then he reached out to Lancets shoulder and squeezed it “We have fought worse. Wars bigger than ourselves, we have fought giants, men riding elephants, mighty lions of Squires, my ancestors have fought in wars all their lives and all the time...” Artemis stopped.
He didnt stop because he had no words to say, but he stopped because he saw Aurora walking the halls of the palace. She was holding a plate which was covered by a clean white piece of cloth. Aurora wore a beautiful golden yellow dress which had precious stones attached to it at the bottom, with a golden yellow scarf which covered her hairs but not all of them – some at the front were visible enough for anyone to see. The way she walked Artemis felt like she was walking in slow motion, or perhaps she was actually walking in slow motion. Everything about Aurora from the way she talked to the way she moved was golden.
Lancet was shocked why did Artemis stop midway through his sentence hence he turned back to look, and he saw Aurora walking towards them. He didnt like Aurora because he felt like she was seducing Artemis and although it was fine when Artemis was a prince, but now he was King. And not only a King but a King of Maldonia, something which he took so personally and his duty as a knight was to protect the king.
Hence he obscured Artemiss view “Dont look...” he said.
Artemis pushed him back. “Get off what are you doing”
“You are a king now! Focus Artemis”
“Dont teach me how to be a king Lancet, I have watched my father be one ever since I was a boy”
“Then you must know he had wisdom and he was most loved by his people for making good decisions. If youve learned anything from your father...”
Aurora was approaching, just a few steps from where Artemis and Sir Lancet were. Artemis usually meets her halfway and thats exactly what he wanted to do. Lancet knew better hence he said his last word before Artemis went after Aurora “You do know what people say about her, dont you They say shes a spaewife...” he whispered and let go of Artemiss hands.
Even though the information that Lancet gave Artemis was knew, Artemis didnt show any sign that he was shocked or whatsoever. He greeted Aurora with a huge smile “My love, I was hoping to see you last night” then he blushed and placed his hands backwards.
Aurora sighed and placed her eyes down, then she curtsied “I apologize Your Grace. I was rather very tired last night because of the coronation festivities”
“Oh, thats... great”
Aurora turned to Lancet and bowed again “Sir Lancet” she said respectfully.
“Aurora” replied Lancet but his voice was harsh and unpleasant.
Artemis noticed how uncomfortable his friend was in the presence of Aurora. Even though the hall was filled with servants passing through and guards making sure the palace was safe since the festivities were still due – Lancet seemed very concerned with Aurora. Hence Artemis dismissed him “Can I have a moment with Lady Kholin, Sir Lancet” he said looking at Lancet.
After a moment of silence which lasted for just one minutes, Lancet bowed before Artemis “As you say, Your Grace” then he walked away. At first Lancet was shocked when Artemis called Aurora “Lady Kholin” because at first she was a servant and didnt deserve to be titled as a lady. Secondly it was forbidden for servants to be addressed as ladies or lords, especially for one who once a slave. Artemis noticed his shock but he didnt seem to mind a lot.
However, Aurora was very smart and she noticed the distress in Sir Lancets voice and face expression, she was good at things like that.
“You shouldnt have addressed me as a lady, at least not in front of people” she said.
“Im king now, I can do what I want”
Aurora smiled, she was way too wise and smart for her age. “Artemis, just because you are king doesnt mean you get to do what you want. It means you get to be wise enough to make smart decisions as a ruler and an emperor. Sometimes...” Aurora paused and she was mesmerized by how handsome Artemis looked wearing the crown.
Aurora shied away and blushed “Sometimes it means making hard decisions” she finished. “I brought you a lemon cake, your favorite...”
At that very moment Artemis opened the lemon cake and first he leaned on to get the smell of it, and then he inhaled the aroma and salivated at how sweet that cake will be. Aurora always makes cakes for him whenever she is happy, she loved to cook.
“Put it in my mouth” he chuckled softly.
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People passing through the corridors of the palace were amazed by the show of love that Aurora and Artemis put for everyone to see. There was no denying their connection anymore since Artemis was now king of Maldonia. Aurora cut out a small piece of cake and fed Artemis softly, Artemis ate it and sucked Auroras tongues along – she blushed and giggled. Lancet was watching from a far and he was so pissed off but then there was nothing that he could do.
“I didnt see you at my coronation yesterday, I looked and looked... you were nowhere to be found” said Artemis.
“I wasnt allowed inside the sacred throne room, I was at the top of the hall watching you and I chanted the words tirelesslyLong live the king, long live the king with a smile on my face”
Artemis was charmed and he even smiled “How was I supposed to see your smile when I couldnt see you amongst the crowd” he asked playfully.
“You are seeing me right now, dont you”
“I want that smile” Artemis made Aurora blush and smile, but he didnt hint anything regarding King Taelin of Prophis Kingdom nor his daughter, Princess Thelma.
Thats because he wasnt yet sure if thats what exactly King Taelin wanted, or was Lancet worried for nothing. Also he didnt want to pressure Aurora into making her worry while he was going to make his own decisions which involved marrying her.
“The crown looks good on you. I think you are way more handsome with it”
“Are you saying I wasnt handsome before” asked Artemis.
Aurora wanted to answer but she stopped midway when they were interrupted by King Taelin and his lovely daughter princess Thelma. Aurora was the first one to spot them hence she curtsied and Artemis had to turn back to see who it was that Aurora was curtsying to.
King Taelins voice was thick and heavy “Young king Artemis, Your Grace” he said standing proudly and with confidence.
Lancet came rushing to that conversation and he immediately addressed the guests “May I introduce to you, His Grace King Taelin of Prophis. And his daughter, princess Thelma of Prophis” then he turned his attention to king Taelin “Your Grace you are in the presence of His Grace, King Artemis of House Arteides, second of his name, ruler of Blackmount, the bear killer, the slayer of the elves and protector of the realm”
Princess Thelma was intrigued, she seductively said to Artemis “So many accolades for someone yet so young... but brave Im sure, Your Grace” she stretched out her hand and Artemis took it, then he kissed it as per tradition.
“Im sure you have your own accolades to be praised too princess”
Her father intervened “Oh yes she does. My daughter is a traveler and she has head for business and politics. So rare for women at our times dont you think so Your Grace”
“I will definitely agree with you Your Grace, my...” Artemis wanted to address Aurora and perhaps say something good about her knowledge and wisdom of politics and ruling but Lancet cut him through.
Lancet said loudly “Servant! Dont you have tasks to do” and it shocked both Artemis and Aurora who wasnt expecting to be dismissed like that.
“Yes, I do. If you will excuse me Your Graces” she silently curtsied and walked away leaving Artemis heartbroken and mad at Lancet for what he did. Lancet wasnt worried much about the consequences he will face later.