Chapter 4:

Rafter of Reality


The red-haired Princess, wife of the first Prince wanted to raise her son Jude into a kind and gentle man, a polar opposite to her husband. 

First Prince Orsol Hatharin was a bitter man who resented his father for choosing his younger brother as the next king instead of him, who fought great battles and risked his life for the kingdom. 

The young scarlet prince rushed to his mother's room with a cheerful smile, holding a little puppy in his tiny hands. "Mother, look," he said to his mother, who was lying on her bed, reading a book. She was a sickly woman, forced to stay in her bed because of her uncurable illness.

The puppy was a golden Labrador retriever with a cheerful disposition. The prince handed it to his mother. "He is adorable, dear. Where did you get him?" Mother asked. The boy, with a smile, said, "Father bought him for me,"

"Your father?" The princess was surprised to hear that, considering the nature of her husband. Had he turned a new leaf? She wondered.

"Yes, he asked me to raise it well for a year. If I succeed, he will reward me," The boy paused for a second and thought about a possible present.

"Maybe he will take me to that puppet show commoners love,"

"Maybe he will," His mother replied with a smile.

Jude kept the promise. He raised his pup well.  On Jude's birthday, his father took him and the dog to the forest near their estate. 

"My father bought me here when I was young to teach me a valuable lesson that he himself had forgot at his old age." Orsol's voice was cold.

"He taught me something far more valuable than rubbish your tutor utters. Honour and Mercy mean nothing in this world. They are nothing more than empty words that will put a knife in your back,"

"Father?" The boy uttered, his voice quivered and his face full of concern. Orsol took a dagger from the sheath and handed it to his son. The boy eyed it with fear.

"Kill the dog," 


"Cruelty is an instrument of survival. Those who are cruel and owns power are the ones with the most freedom," The first Prince with intense eyes looked directly into the eyes of his son.

"I won't," The boy shouted with tears in his eyes.

"Then I will smother your mother to death. You love your mother, don't you? Will you be happy if I killed her. Do you care more about this mutt than your own mother?"

"Father, why are you doing this? I thought..." He paused to wipe his tears.

"You gave him to me to make me happy.... why are you doing this?"

"Because I can," He said with a cold voice that made the Jude's face go pale. First Prince ran his hands around the boy's shoulder's and whispered, "Is that mutt's life more valuable than your own mother? Do it, my son, kill him! Take that mutt's miserable life. After that, I will guide you to your destiny, a path of greatness, "

The boy's hands shook and the dog's innocent eyes, made the boy look away. The boy hesitated the tip of the dagger was near the dog's body.

"I killed my own father for his crime. I won't hesitate to kill a wife,"

"Do it my son," he whispered 

"Do it!" He shouted

The boy screamed and pierced the neck of the dog, it cried in pain, and it was unbearable to hear. The boy cried a lot. First Prince didn't say anything and stood silent. The boy hugged the dog and uttered, "I am sorry," repeatedly.

"Do you regret doing it? I am sure you do boy, I regretted killing the love of my life. That day my father taught me how insignificant peasants' lives are to the nobles and how kindness is a weakness." 

"The only reason that pup died is only because you have no power. You have no control over your own life - I own you. I make decisions for you. I can kill you and your mother because I can and get away with it." The dark look on his father's face scared the boy. He never saw it before and never wanted to look at it again.

"Rapists, Murderers and all the nasty sorts get executed for their crimes unless they are the nobility, a person with the blue blood. You are a prince - you can get away with those crimes without consequences, but as a king, your hand is that of a god hovering above others. A hand with strings to puppet them. To gain control of your fate, you need to control others. Embrace the cruelty. Cruelty grants control and power, and they are the only valuable things to survive in this world. Own everything and then you can control everything so things like this will never happen."

The Orsol taught what he knew to his son, took him on hunting trips taught him how to swing his sword and release an arrow. He was proud of how his son turned as he wanted. However, what first prince didn't realize was he unknowingly planted something sinister within the boy. 

The boy enjoyed violence more than anything to the point he couldn't live without it. He killed animals, tortured them mutilated them. One day his mother saw him cutting the stomach of a kitten and was deeply disturbed. She was forced to marry her abusive and vicious husband. It was a political marriage, and her son was the only thing that kept her sane. He was her only hope, and the hope was gone. She grabbed a dagger, went into her son's chamber and hesitantly pointed it at her son's throat. Her hands shook, tears rolled from her eyes, but instead of wavering, she attacked him. The scarlet prince opened his eyes and immediately grabbed his mother's dagger held arm. Blood dripped from his hand; eyes welled with tears.

"Why mother"

"I am sorry sweetheart. I was failed to protect you. If only I had been a good mother, you wouldn't have turned out this way." She paused for a second, quickly suppressed the hesitation and tried to plunge the dagger into the boy, but the boy took the vase near him and struck his mother. She stumbled back with a bleeding head.

"Somebody Help! My mother, she's hurt," The young prince cried, and the servants rushed in.

"Help her please," It was all he could utter for hours, but they didn't save her. It was too late. The first prince covered all of it up and made it seem like his wife died of illness. He didn't question his son didn't talk about it for months. Instead, he pushed his son further away by sending him to be the disciple of the blade master. The young scarlet prince didn't understand why it turned out that way, and it ate him alive, but his days as the disciple of swordmaster changed him. Whenever he was distracted by that incident, he convinced himself that the lie was the truth. He didn't kill her. All of it happened because of a fatal disease beyond the power of healers. He pretended to maintain the balance within his own broken heart that felt guilty about killing his own mother. 

Timeline: 20 Years before the duel

Time: Midnight

Location: The Palace

The scarlet prince ambled on the marble stone of the palace floor, dragging his blood-covered long sword. He had blood all over him, his face, his white tunic and black trousers. The Prince's face was lifeless. He plastered a smile but struggled to keep it.

"Fuck," He cursed and started laughing.

"I did the right thing. My brother would have killed me sooner or later. It's better this way. All of it was a ;oe anyway. All of his words were lies. That's right, what I believe is the truth everything else is...,"

He realized he was in front of his father's chambers. The scarlet prince walked in and saw his father in a chair gazing at him with pity.

"I am sorry, son," he said with guilt.

"Why are you sorry?"

"I did what you wanted from me. I did everything you asked. I killed my brother today and killed countless because you asked me to become the king,"

"I never should have asked you. I should have listened to your mother.," The scarlet prince moved forward with anger and held his father's neck and pushed him against the window breaking it. Then a wicked smile crept across his face.

"I did nothing wrong. Do you know why? Because I can get away with anything regardless of the offence because I am the scarlet king now. I am the ruler of the greatest nation. I am untouchable." He started strangling his father.

"Do you remember that day? When I killed that pup, you told me how your father forgot about the important lesson. Ironically, I am here to remind you of it. I can kill you now, do you hear me? I can strangle you like you promised to strangle my mother," Tears streaked down from his father's eyes, and when the life left him, scarlet king hugged his father's body and whispered, "Thank you, Father, for this incredible lesson."