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Indiscretion

By´╝ÜJordan Silver

Chapter 1


The clashing of steel rang out across the vast countryside as the dawn broke, and men fell from their sleep to find themselves in the midst of battle. The grey skies looked ready to belch with rain at any moment as the birds had yet to leave their nests.

Young prince Julian searched out his sire in the midst of the melee, even as his men at arms sought to protect him. He knew that it was his sire’s orders that he be guarded at all cost at such a time as this, but the young man could not leave his sire’s side.

The men rallied themselves to defend their king and his prince, cutting down everything in their path. Showing why they had earned the reputation as the greatest army in all Europe.

They hadn’t been expecting an attack this far inland, since the threat, had been thought contained closer to the sea town of Portsmouth. It was there they were headed to quell the latest rebellion, yet somehow here they were days away from that port.

There was no time to think of the obvious treachery that had found them surrounded by the enemy on their way from one palace to another for safety’s sake. His sire had sought to get his heir along with his other offspring to safety, at the refusal of his eldest son.

The younger prince Frederick, and his sister princess Lillian had been taken on a different route under orders of the king. But his eldest son had stood his ground, choosing instead to stay where he could defend his aging father.

He was first in line for the succession, but he would not put that great privilege above the care of his own dear sire. And so there had been a great big row between the two strong-headed men into the wee hours of the morn. With Prince Julian prevailing the victor.

Now he fought his way through the throng of men with no real care for his own person. His only thought to get to his sire’s side, to defend even unto death. His sword rang out as it met the steel of his foes but he kept his eyes trained on the place ahead where he could see his sire in the thick of battle, doing what he liked best.

The smell of blood was heavy on the wind, the labored breathing of the steeds blowing cold through their nostrils, their thundering hooves stirring up the earth beneath their feet. All around was the chaos and madness of war. Death could come at any moment; it was in the air. Today would decide the fate of a kingdom.

Julian Aguilon, first son of Henri the VI fought his way to the place where his father fought valiantly, surrounded by his men. He looked neither left nor right, but steadily cut down the enemy as he came upon them, his mind set on one goal.

As he drew nearer, chopping and slashing as he went, he saw his father cut down. The sight was so incongruous to his young senses that for a moment time stood still. He could hear plainly the awakening of the birds as they twittered in the trees, almost as loud as the beating of his own heart in his ears.

He could feel the warmth of the rising sun as it touched his cheek, but none of it registered, as he sat transfixed by the sight of his strong, full of life, majestic king falling to his knees.

“Father.” His cry was one of torment and rage as he slipped from his horse and ran into certain danger to reach his sire. It was left to the men at his back to preserve his life as he forgot all danger to himself in his haste to get to the king’s side.

Dropping to his knees as the battle raged on around him, he took his father’s hand as he fought to remember the duties of a prince. All his teachings went the way of fodder. All he was then was the son of a great man, a man in whom death now shone in his eyes.

As if from a distance it all came back to him, his sire’s own words. He must not show weakness in tears, must not fidget about as he wished to, or howl to the skies for help. He must bear the carriage of one befitting a king. Yet he could not withhold the tears that now blinded his eyes and the sorrow from his heart.

The wound was a grievous one; even he could see that, as it had torn the gut open and the dark blood of the liver flowed onto the grass beneath. Death blood. A cold shiver ran through his being as he accepted that he was in the presence of imminent death.

Not only that, but this was the one being on earth that he loved and trusted above all else. He stood to lose much this day with the passing of his sire. Much more than he stood to gain. Not even for the kingdom that was sure to fall into his hands would he have wished this.

He looked into the fading light of his father’s eyes even as he longed for vengeance. Longed to seek out the very one who had struck the blow and fell them with his own sword. “Father, no….” His voice was that of the young boy he’d once been. A child, who held an innocent love for a father who was all that was greatness in his eyes.

With the last of his remaining strength, the old king reached up and clasped his son’s nape, dragging his face down to his. “You must carry on son, we’ve come this far we cannot turn back.”

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