On the top of Wisteria Mountain, a boy in his adulthood swung a light sword magnificently. With just one twist of his wrist, a gust of wind carried a heavy blow.
The aromatic and comforting scent of wisteria filled the atmosphere providing a calming state of mind.
That tranquility was broken by the jingling of ceramic feathers blown by the wind.
Rupias stood there silently watching the youth turning towards him.
”Your Royal Highness. ” Rupias gave him a small nod.
”Prime Mage, ” the crown prince Eidan greeted him; his eyes softened seeing the figure standing with such grace.
”Seeing you reaching out to me first, I must have gotten the call from destiny. ” He greeted the Mage respectfully.
”Or perhaps my mother is missing me again? ” the crown prince waited for the answer.
The Mage chuckled at the young mans calmness, ”When you were quite little, you once asked me; dear mage why do my surroundings glimmer with specks of white? Why do I hear soft giggles when I enter the forest? Why do I feel caressed by the flower petals when they fall around me? ”
The mage lifted up his staff and slowly brushed the wisteria branches, ”Do you remember what I answered? ”
The petals floated around the crown prince and a faint smile appeared on Eidans face. ”You told me that its because Im loved. ”
Nodding, the mage continued, ”Your future might hold grudges against your past as to why this power was bestowed upon you. Indeed, greatness comes with responsibilities. You must not waver in your decisions and aim. ” Rupias smiled at the young boy.
”Prime mage, why must this evil be suppressed and not sealed away like the black magic was? ” Eidan sheathed his silvery sword and walked up to the mage.
The white and silver carvings on his sheath beautifully shined under the sunlight.
”This is because evil cannot vanish completely but only be suppressed by the righteousness of people like you. ” gesturing vaguely towards the prince and then back to the trees.
”Like thoughts, it eats up the mind, like thorns it stabs the heart, like chains it binds the soul. ” The mage tapped each falling petal gracefully.
Eidan always loved watching the Mages little tricks and astonishing acts.
Coming back to the task he had guessed, the crown prince was stern in saying, ”I have no idea as to what will happen but I do believe that all this is happening for a reason. Everything has an end. ” Eidan remarked.
”Do you believe in destiny then? ” Rupias asked raising an eyebrow at him.
”I do not know, ” Eidan lowered his gaze, gripping the hilt of his sword tightly he mumbled, ”But it would be a lie if I said that Im not scared of death, so I must be brave, I must tame my heart and I must protect what I hold dear, for the responsibility of many lives resides on my shoulders and Ill be questioned for their demise. ”
What extensive thinking this boy has, Rupias thought in amazement and smiled.
”It isn death you should be scared of, Crown Prince. It is the emptiness of your side when you die. That must not happen. ” The mage knew very well what the boy felt deep inside his young heart.
Eidans eyes blinked for a few moments and a glint of sadness rose in them. For Eidan had no one, except for his mother to be by his side.
”The North King requested aid and I suggested that the crown prince must depart with an army of 100 capable soldiers to inspect the cause of the disaster they speak of, ” Rupias said to the young prince.
”Soldiers? Why not the Imperial Knights squad? ”
”They are stationed in the Imperial palace, outside the capital, there are many soldier squadrons that can be of service to Your Highness, ” Rupias explained.
”Alright, I would also need a small group of compatible mages for this expedition. ” The crown prince added while walking down the mountain stairs.
”You must lead them well, Your Highness. ” Rupias nodded, gave him a small bow, and went along as the crown prince headed back to the castle.
An army of 100 well-trained and skillful soldiers, within them, were also capable mages that were learning magic in the academic schools outside the capital.
The capital was a place where Knighthood was established with dignity and value. Only high-quality skills and magic users were allowed to enter. As an acceptable knights quality is that they can use magical abilities as well as physical combat.
As strict as the qualifications were set, the capital only welcomed the best of the best for its protection and strength.
Magic was as important as learning combat. However, each individual inside or outside the capital was appraised by the talent and skills they gained, the knowledge that they learned, and harnessing their potential.
Eidan didn take the numbers lightly as the crown prince, he was entrusted with a hundred lives.
Inside the courtroom, the conference started as soon as he reached the table.
Under the guidance of the imperial mage and supervision of the imperial advisor, a map was given to the crown prince which was drawn superficially.
The landmarks and regions they must review on this mission.
The imperial advisor dictated, ”The capital city is in the center of all lands, connected with north, south, east and west sides separately. It is surrounded by central plains which are the main routes for all four regions. ”
”This is the mainland where the armies train and harness their magical abilities. ” he pointed at the map.
”The northern lands are full of small canyons and mainly covered by forest with the crossing rivers that arise from the north-west and flow all the way to the northeast, some of which cascades rummage through the outskirts of our central plains. They provide agriculture, silk, and scented items. ”
He went on, ”The southern lands, however, comprises of mountains that are tall and wide, giving protection to the southeast. They provide stones for weapons, ornaments, and ceramics for the central plains. ”
”This much is already taught to his highness in his academic classes, ” He finished explaining. ”His royal highness must choose the safest route to the North. ”
But there was one thing that none ever mentioned. The prince asked took this opportunity to ask about the lands that were never discussed, ”What about the southwest? ”
The imperial adviser sighed and hesitantly answered, ”The southwest…is nothing but a wasteland. It has been cut off for many years and the border has been sealed. ”
If thats the main reason then it was quite strange for them not to mention it or do something about the wastelands.
Eidan shook his head, that did not matter to him right now.
”Under my name, I here by declare the start of investigation of Northern lands and to secure a safe path back to the capital. ” Rupias said loudly so that the people in the room could hear clearly.
”May the majestic spirits be a guidance towards his highness. ” they all bowed as a commencement to the order.
The crown prince acknowledged his duty came to an agreement with everyone in the room. He then confidentally went to his chamber, and prepared for his departure.
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