The Husband and Hero
It only took a second.
A single small second for my life to end.
It’s amazing how in the moment of your death you reflect every little thing…every small second.
In my previous life, my name was Eri Kuji. I was a kindergarten teacher, a loving dog mother, and a wife. I never really amounted to anything incredible, but in the end that didn’t matter to me; I never needed to be someone extradionary. Living a happy life filled with the most cherish memories and plenty of regrets was more than enough for me.
So, in that small tiny second, that truly seemed to last forever, I felt content with myself.
As soon as my eyes went cold and my vision had darkened, pain rose throughout my body. Grim Reapers’ boney fingers entangled themselves within me and tugged on my heart. The cruel bitter taste of death made it’s way with me hastily for facing it.
That small second felt endless.
I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. But the cold just kept coming.
And finally, after that single second faded into time, I found myself looking into the face of a pale small child whose face puckered in. Her gaze was dusty and her breathe was short, and before long I found myself immersed.
She didn’t say much, but her pleading face said it all.
Girl: “Please save them.”
I’m not sure why I said what I said next but I believe now that my meeting with this girl was destined.
Eri: “I will save them.”
As soon as the words had dripped out of my mouth, the little girl faded away and the cold that had entangled me began to disappear.
???: “Shinkyo! Shinkyo!”
Opening my eyes, I find myself surrounded by two unfamiliar people, who would soon become those closest to my heart. The Bloodsworths.
And that is how I became Shinkyo Bloodsworth.
It was amazing to see this world of fantasy I had always dreamed of become so real.
Often times I found myself in the very beginning of this life grasping at the air in disbelief that I was alive in my favorite novel. Alive as the main villainous as well.
Shinkyo Bloodsworth. The princess of Robal and only villain in the story to attempt war by talking with words rather than swords. She is the beloved sister of Killian Bloodsworth who is to become King right before the war against Frostala begins.
But as of right now, Killian is nothing more than a prince and a very young prince at that.
When I was reborn, I awoke as a four year old. How strange and perplexing it was to have gone from being a grown woman to being in the body of a child.
Glancing over at the seven year old Killian, I put on a nervous smile. Even though he is a child, he's going to be the most violent heinous murderer in both the Kingdom of Frostala and Robal. I can't help but put my guard up.
Shinkyo: "Killian what's wrong?"
Gapping the distance with a cheeky smile, Killian comes close to my face and whispers quietly.
Killian: "We're heading out to go see the town remember? You kept telling me you wanted to go."
Finally, a chance to escape this palace. For some reason, the current king, my father, refuses to let me leave my room. Although I'm much more of a home body, too much time at home is simply unpleasant.
Sneaking out with Killian reminds me of how much fun it is to be a child again. It's strange to experience such a thing.
Although I am ecstatic, the fear of my prior knowledge comes in. This kingdom is full of monsters-hideous despicable monsters. They don't describe them very well in the story so I have no idea what to expect.
Hiding underneath my hooded robe, I find it hard to see. Killian's hand is the only thing leading me across town.
???:" Did you hear about Frostala's new heir? Apparently-"
A heavy voice is coming from my left. Soon multiple voices surround around me and I feel overwhelmed.
I'm going to die again. These monsters are going to eat me alive. I can't- no I won't feel death's hands again.
Loosing my grip from Killian, I find myself stopping in my tracks. I’m terrified.
Killian: "Shinkyo what's wrong?"
Killian rushes to my side. Before I can speak or move or do anything, he grabs the front of my hood and pulls it back.
I squint my eyes close as tightly as I can.
No reaction, no movement, no sounds.
After hearing the silence, I open my eyes back up to a terrifying reality.
These citizens are people. People with injures, disabilities, mutations. Just normal people.
The word monster appears in my head again. It couldn't be.
Shinkyo: "These people..."
Killian: "Oh! You've never seen the departurers. They're the people that have arrived here from Frostala."
My stomach curls at his comment. From Frostala?
Killian: "It's a shame how they treat their own people like garbage. Don't you think Shinkyo?"
Finding myself darting my eyes around in a panic, I find how incredible it is how quick your perspective can change.
In the story Princess Fern of Frostala calls Robal the disposables...it makes a lot more sense now considering what I've just learned.
Glancing over at Killian it is clear to see he is quite worried for me. Killian and the rest of these people are the unexpected victims of the story.
I feel sick. My head is splitting and the same pain as before is flowing through my body.
Darkens settles in and all the weigh in my body moved to my feet.
Killian: " Shinkyo!"
Arriving back to my chambers, I learn that this body of mine was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or more commonly known as CFS.
It explains why my brother and father refuse to let me leave the palace and it also explains why Shinkyo in the story doesn't fight with a weapon.
As the years flew by, I quickly grew close to these characters that lived beside me to the point that they openly shared the reason they were forced out of Frostala.
Aside from most of the main cast, my brother, Killian and I were born outside of Frostala; however, Killian still would be considered disposable by Frostala standards due to his Intermittent Explosive disorder. His flare ups and temper tantrums are a part of it.
General Willowcrus Mardane was removed from Frostala at the age of ten because she prefers women over men.
General Richi Fally is shorter than the required height of the Kingdom.
My beloved maid Edgar is transgender which is disregarded in Frostala.
And lastly General Birch Longington... Truly it's such a silly reason, as are all of them. He was born with an extra finger on his right hand.
All of these people, no matter how minor or major, if they don't live up to Frostala's unreasonable standards, then they are considered irrelevant.
The kingdom of Robal was created by my great-grandfather many years ago to house people who had been discarded. My grandfather and father have carried on this role since then and soon Killian will carry on this torch.
With my frail body, my father has written me off from taking the throne. In the novel, Shinkyo accepts this and supports her brother by standing beside him. But I'm not her. I'm me and this is my life to live and my story to tell.
For a long while, I thought supporting Killian with my advantages of knowing the future would be enough. But then came my 10th birthday.
In the middle of the palace's courtyard an arrangement of sweets and drinks is provided. Flowers and handmade crafts decorate the tables and trees surrounding.
All: "Happy Birthday your majesty!"
Standing around me are my friends and family members all celebrating me on my birthday. It is the first time in a while I've been able to exit the palace walls. It feels as though with age I become more and more ill.
The sun is smiling down with a pleasant warmth and the dewy grass give off a sweet smell. It's the perfect day for a birthday.
Willowcrus: "Your majesty, please open my present first!"
Despite our age gap of 10 years, Willowcrus and I get along quite well. She's always been one of my favorite characters in the novel for her witty nature. When I finally got to meet her in-person, I was shocked by her kind nature that was never described in the original story. I'm happy to have been able to bond with her as person rather than as a reader.
Slamming down a poorly wrapped present on the table, she lets out a fierce chuckle.
Willowcrus: " Prepare to get your pants blown off!"
Opening the elongated present, I find myself amazed. It's a black spear coated in a spiral like pattern. It seems so misplaced in the world we live in and so misplaced in my hands.
King Bloodsworth: "Lady Willowcrus this is too dangerous for her! She is a child and an ill child at that! How dare you-"
Shinkyo: "I love it."
It feels like a rare treasure. Something so foreign and out of my reach. Holding it in my hands, I feel a sense of passion that I've never felt before.
Despite my father's hatred for the gift, he ignores his rage for the time being.
As I continue opening presents, a sudden sense of dread approaches me.
Is this another moment of my CFS?
The galloping of horses becomes heavy as a carriage forcefully pushes their way into the courtyard. Guards surround us while Willowcrus stands idly close to me. Birch is standing nearby as well.
Taking a step out of the carriage is King Harness of Frostala. Never before has a royal member ever stepped foot in Robal, never less the palace. He is completely different from what I ever imagined. His broad relentless face and firm gaze feels misplaced on a noble.
King Bloodsworth: "Harness, what brings you to Robal? You are not welcomed here."
Letting out a devious laugh, the malicious king brings his hands over his lips.
King Harness:" I couldn't believe such filthy place still existed. I had to see it for myself."
Moving his hand in a forwarding motion, another individual begins making their way outside the carriage.
King Harness: "I also wanted my daughter to see what kind of monsters exist. You know, so she knows the type to dispose of properly."
The sweet fragrance of fresh linen and citrus fill the air as this cherry blossom colored girl makes her way over to us. It is immediately apparent that her beauty is incomparable. This must be-
Fern: "Greetings, I am Princess Fern from the Kingdom of Frostala. I can already tell just from looking at this disgusting place that you people must live like rats."
Beauty cannot make up for a shitty personality. Appalled by her behavior, I find my temper rising. Can this truly be the real Fern from the story?
King Bloodsworth: "Please leave King Harness. I do not want to use force."
Fern: "Ah! The Rodent knows how to be polite. How eccentric."
King Harness: "Now Ferny, do you see how pathetic they are? How although there are guards in every direction, they still do not attack? It's because they're cowards. They know that this tiny insolent playplace can't take our kingdom in war."
The ten-year-old Fern's eyes are beaming with a psychotic type of excitement.
Fern: "Truly you people are disgusting monsters. No wonder you were thrown away. Each and every one of you worthless despicable monsters."
In that single second, my hands move on their own. I, Shinkyo Bloodsworth, who has never raised my tone, never harmed another living creature, slapped the hell out Princess Fern.
Fern: "How dare you!? Did you not hear who I am? I am the Princess! The Princess of Frostala!"
Shinkyo: "Stop using your title to cover yourself and bite your tongue."
Startled by my sudden respond, Fern takes a step back.
Shinkyo: "Does calling others dirty words make you feel better about yourself? What about ruining others lives?"
King Harness:" Bloodsworth how dare you raise such a ruthless child?! Teach this child manners and-"
Shinkyo: "Don't talk about my father! You have no idea the things this kingdom has been through because of your double standard! Take away your world where appearances is the only thing that matters and you know Ferny that it would swallow you whole."
Fern: " You!"
As Fern pulls back her arm to send a fist at me, I wield my spear forward.
Speechless King Harness and my father's faces darken in a panic.
Shinkyo: "Leave this place immediately and don't return. If the guards won't strike you, I will."
Fern: "How dare you a peasant-no a monster-"
King Harness grabs his daughters’ shoulder and pauses her words.
King Harness:" Let us leave at once Fern. It was a mistake to assume the sane resided here."
Fern: " But-!"
Before I could realize it, I had set fuel to the fire burning within her. Her rage and hatred for this kingdom ignited that very moment.
As the two and the carriage fades away from view, the atmosphere remains tense and my birthday party has been ruined.
King Bloodsworth: "Shinkyo, you did a horribly reckless thing. I understand your frustration but you can't act that way. You-"
As my father continues his lecture, I came to a conclusion.
This will be my turning point. This will be where I change the story.
King Bloodsworth: "What is it Shinkyo?"
Shinkyo: "I want to be heir to the throne."
Make me your villain.