Chapter 3:

Chapter 3. Inspiration

Legacy of the Forgotten

Damn it. How could I let that happen? I thought I had it, but I don’t know why I froze like I did? If only it wasn’t so slick! Ugh!”

The Prince took deep breaths as he squeezed his arm while walking through the kingdom. The people of the kingdom weren’t very hospitable around this time, mostly due to the fact that the kingdom was going into a very difficult season. During this time of the year, it becomes incredibly hard for the merchants to travel to and from Fortis Gelu. The Prince sighed deeply as he walked through the busy market area, moving past the bustling of people traversing the kingdom. The adolescent teen gritted his teeth as he continued rubbing the back of his shoulder, trying to massage the sore area in an attempt to forget his previous failure. After a few minutes of continuing this and trudging through along, he finally got to the entrance of his castle. Upon his entry into his pale castle, the Prince was greeted by two of the lower knights that guarded both sides of the entrance.

Did you forget? Your father wishes for you to join him and your mother for dinner. You’re going to be late, so hurry kid.”

The Prince’s eyes widened under his hair and he darted into the castle and towards the dining hall, not wanting to upset either his father or his mother by being late. The Prince used his training to maneuver around the maids and knights that roamed the halls on his way to the banquet hall. It took one-hundred percent of his focus, but he was able to get there on time, seeing his parents sitting together on one side of a long fourteen-foot table. The Prince quickly walked to his seat that was on the other side of the table. The seat was placed directly across from where his mother and father sat. The Prince took a deep breath of relief as the cooks came out from the kitchen in a single file line, wearing a combination of civilian clothes and armor that was made from earthly minerals. The multiple chiefs presented the family with a nice spread of food consisting of several slabs of tiger meat, arctic berries that grew from the land’s signature arctic willows, and sliced potatoes with herbs. The smell that the food gave off was so pleasant that it made the Prince’s stomach growl. He realized at that single moment that he completely forgot to eat anything throughout the entire day, and so he was truly starving.

Awh man! That smells so good! I can’t wait to just chow down!

The Prince anxiously awaited the finished setting of the silverware as the cooks set down their dull metallic trays that held the abundant amount of food. The cooks lined up in a single file line on the left side of the table, shoulder to shoulder, and waited for their Lord’s signal to leave. The King raised his left hand gently, signaling to the cooks that they may leave. The cooks bowed in silence before proceeding to leave the room. The Prince alongside his parents began to take part in the delectable meal that was presented before them while the King peculiarly observed how his son was wolfing down his food like an animal.

Son, don't just scarf down your food like that. You’ll choke.”

The Prince looked to his father before swallowing a mouthful of potatoes. After swallowing his food, he quickly responded to his father.

I know father, but it’s just so g-

No buts. Understand? If you’re going to act like an animal then you’ll be talked to as such.”

The Prince looked at his mother, hoping that she’d at least say something, but no. She just ignored the situation and silently ate her food as if no words were being exchanged at the table. In fact, it was like she was in a world of her own, or rather in deep thought with herself. The Prince looked down at his plate of food and sighed before proceeding to take his time with the meal like his father had commanded. The room fell silent with the only sound heard being that of their eating utensils clanging on the trays. The King was about half way done with his food before he leaned back in his seat, wanting to make conversation with his son. The Prince looked up at his father, who’d been staring for a bit now. The King had his arms crossed while he spoke.

So… how goes your training with Avorion? From what I understood so far, you were supposed to start a new kind of training today, right?

The Prince was a bit surprised that his father knew he was starting a new form of training. He then quickly realized that Avorion was obviously and probably the one who informed his father about the kind of training they’d be doing. The Prince leaned back in his seat, ran his hand through his hair, and rubbed the back of his neck before speaking to his father.

I-It was alright. I admit, I'm not perfect at what he’s trying to teach. Honestly, it's incredibly hard. So hard in fact that I have my own doubts about if I’m ever going to be able to get it down.

The King laughed at his son, letting his strong voice burst forth and out into the vicinity. Admittedly, he threw the young Prince off with this response as he thought his failure to learn would’ve made his father furious instead. The King caught his breath after his laughter died down. He wiped a tear from his eye before looking towards his son once more.

You’re distressed after one simple failure? Especially something as absurd as trying to learn roof running of all things? Son, if you’re so distressed at this failure, then you’ll be in for a very stressful life. I know how much you want to live up to my expectations, and I admire the effort that you’re putting in to try and do so. Honestly, I’m just surprised Avorion never fully explained this to you, considering that it’s probably one of the most important things to know for living in this world.

The Prince grew silent as a perplexed expression took shape upon his youthful face. He began recalling all the things Avorion taught him, and he began remembering how he studied everything he could to the best of his abilities. After his reminiscing, the Prince sat back in his chair, beginning to agonize over one lesson he could not recall. His father meanwhile simply watched him struggle to remember before finally breaking the silence. The King did good in regaining the Prince’s attention.

Honestly though, I can’t say that I'm surprised that you don’t know this critical lesson. Then again, considering how your mentor hasn’t really ever failed me, I should’ve expected it. Anyways, the lesson that Avorion failed to teach you is that failure is our greatest teacher.”

I responded both curiously and quickly.

Failure is our greatest teacher, huh? You're right father. Sir Avorion never taught me such a thing, but why is it such a crucial lesson?”

The Prince listened to his father’s response diligently.

Because it’ll always allow you to learn from your mistakes. It also shows that you're trying your very best to overcome an obstacle. You’re quite talented in your own right. No normal person could improve their skills at such a quick pace. Then again, it could be my pride as a father shining through a bit, but just know this simple fact my boy; there will always be days where you won’t succeed on the first try, and if you fail, make sure to try again.”

The Prince nodded after hearing his father’s words, but before his father could continue to speak, one of the lower knights barged into the room unannounced. At first glance, the knight seemed to be an ordinary one due to the dullness of his armor, making it seem like he was one of the lower-ranked warriors of the kingdom. The Prince used his acquired intuition from his training with Avorion and silently scanned the exhausted man’s armor set. The prince used his eyes to diligently observe the armor to try and notice anything that could give off a rank title until he quickly found that the man’s right shoulder had three diagonal claw marks. However, he was unable to deduce the specific rank of the knight that interrupted his family’s dinner, so he just warped back with his arms crossed.

The knight leaned over while putting his hands on his knees and began to pant heavily as he quickly finished his sprint. The King was profoundly upset that someone would be so rude as to interrupt their meal, but nonetheless he slowly pushed his seat back and proceeded to raise himself from his chair to address the knight. The knight looked up at his liege knowing that his majesty was definitely quite displeased.

M-my liege, I know this is a most inconvenient time for you but I assure you this is extremely important and requires your utmost attention!”

The king’s anger subsided in which he figured that whatever the knight had in store for him must really be important if someone would be brazen enough to intrude on his personal time with his family. He lowered himself to the smaller male before leaning in a bit so that their heads are close enough for whispers to be exchanged between the two of them. The knight gasped for air slowly before he finally caught his breath. They began to discuss the issue that caused the knight to barge in, in the first place. Their whispers are quickly being exchanged with the conversation being short, as the issue didn't need much explanation.

The king firmly patted the knight on his shoulder and spoke in a normal and calm tone.

Thank you for bringing this urgent news to my attention. Now then, go rush to the barracks and send a few knights to deal with this issue.”

The knight seemed surprised by the fact that his liege had requested only for a few of his knights to handle this issue.

Are you sure my Lord?”

The King nodded and waved his hand, signaling for the knight to make his way out.

The knights residing in the common ranks should be more than enough to handle this. So tell me dear Instructor… if you’ve been doing your job as you’re supposed to, then why do you seem to doubt your students' capabilities? Unless you’re admitting to me that you’ve been doing a half assed job the entire time? Is this the case?

The Prince simply watched as the stranger’s demeanor immediately changed. The man almost instantly collapsed on one knee. He felt the king’s powerful aura seemingly flare up with the words he spoke. The low-ranking trainer quickly lowered his head and didn’t dare to look up and meet his king’s daunting gaze. He shook his head and began frantically speaking.

N-N-No my liege! A few should be more than enough! I-I don’t know what I was thinking just now… sending more would have been overkill. I’ll send the knights immediately per your command.”

The warrior quickly got up and made a mad dash out of the room. Meanwhile, the Prince was surprised by how the man metaphorically broke down what his father spoke, but he was even more caught off guard by how fast the man ran out of the room. The Prince felt the need to comment on the situation.

Uh, what did I just witness?”

Hearing the dumbfounded question from his son made the king break his hard act. He smiled at his son before once more sitting at the table.

That's what happens when you question a stronger person. When people enter a conflict of words, the one with the bigger presence dominates the other, smaller individual. The key is to keep a straight face and to make sure your words dig into your opposition, letting them know that you’re not scared.

The adolescent teen nodded and continued listening diligently to his father while recalling what had just transpired. The king spoke thoroughly about how the instructor’s demeanor seemingly crumbled at the nearest hint of his father’s seriousness. I began asking some questions.

So, father, what should I do about training if failure is supposedly the greatest teacher as you say? Am I just supposed to keep falling on my face until I get it right?

The king gently placed his hand over his face and shook his head in a slow manner, indicating his utter disappointment. After his father was done displaying this gesture, he lowered his hand and spoke in a slightly annoyed tone.

That’s what I’ve been trying to explain to you.”

The Prince sighed, thinking that this will be a long and painful process before he is able to master roof-running. The Prince sighed deeply and looked at his mother, noticing that her right eye was for some reason bandaged over. He was very surprised that he failed to notice it up until this point. He urged himself to retract from conversing with his father to instead ask what happened.

Mother, what happened? Why is your eye all bandaged up?”

The Queen smiled softly while her husband re-took his seat at the end of the table. The King looked as if he was going to speak, but his wife gently raised her hand, signaling the two of them to be silent. Both husband and son saw the hand raised. The Prince nodded and didn’t speak while the King similarly nodded and stopped himself from saying a thing. The Queen smiled softly as she let her soft voice escape her lip. She began to explain to her son what had transpired to cause the bandage to be needed.

Thank you.”

She gently parted her hair to the side while taking a slow breath before starting to speak about what recently happened to her.

I was daydreaming about something, but I can’t recall what had me so enraptured in thought. However, something had fallen, breaking my train of thought, and before I knew it I had accidentally scratched my eye. Even though the injury wasn’t too serious, I still had thought it best to apply ointment and cover my eye with this bandage.

The Prince nodded in acknowledgement of what had happened to his mother, taking a breath of relief that nothing serious had happened. Meanwhile, his father had his chin on top of his hands while his fingers were intertwined with each other. He began getting up from his seat. The banquet hall fell silent as the King went to get his crown, gently caressing it with his fingers before lifting it up from where it rested.

I guess that’ll be enough talking for one evening. I have more things to tend to. Meanwhile, I do expect you to take my words to heart, son. Things won’t be easier, but I know you’ll do great.”

The King walked out of the room with the clanking sound of his armor being the final thing that was heard from him. The Prince looked at his mother, sighing once more before gently backing out of his seat.

I feel as if I made my father upset. So, I’m just going to leave.

The Prince knew that his father didn’t like seeing his mother in pain, and disliked discussing said injury even more. Yet, like any other teen, he pushed on the topic before his father decided to leave. The adolescent thought about this for a brief moment before slowly leaving the room, leaving his mother in the room alone as the doors slammed closed. The Prince took a deep breath as he slowly ran his hands past his hair, rubbing his face in a slow manner, and subsequently beginning to think about his training. He quickly came up with a very clever idea. The teen suddenly ran straight towards the barracks with the belief that the trainer had the answers he so desperately sought. He barged through the castle doors, desperately looking left and right a few times in an attempt to find where the man went.

Sadly, the Prince was unable to find him when he got outside. This was of little consequence of course, and instead more of a slight inconvenience. The adolescent male just took a deep breath and blew out the air he had inhaled before beginning to walk towards the barracks. The Prince walked through the busy streets of Fortis Gelu trying to think of what to ask the individual who met with his father. This task was a bit difficult though due to the fact that people were much louder than usual, making it difficult for him to hear his own thoughts.

Ugh! It’s so loud out here! I can’t hear myself think! I guess I’m going to have to improvise my questions when I find that man.”

The Prince rushed through the crowd, bobbing and weaving through the civilians that had gotten in his way. He ran for about ten minutes, making sure to not harm others during his focused sprint. Finally, after making it to the barracks, the building surprised the Prince by how plain it looked. Sure he expected the place to not be as nice as a castle, but the fact that it looked as if two houses were built next to each other was just all-around surprising. Before he could observe the place any longer, a voice spoke out from right next to him.

M-my lord? What are you doing here? I just left the castle about twenty minutes ago. How did you manage through the crowds of people before I was able to get here?”

The Prince turned around to see the man he had come out to see. The armored male slowly took off his helmet, holding his helmet in his right hand and revealing the face of a tanned male in his early forties by the looks. The warrior had black hair and brown eyes. Hearing the man’s storming tone, the prince shrugged and gave the man a simple reply.

I just ran.”

The man looked at him in disbelief and began to think about it. After a few moments of recollection he remembered that the Prince was being trained by one of the king’s guards. This was shared via a letter sent to all noticeable soldiers, telling them to not interfere or worry. However, the letter distinctly lacked enough knowledge as to tell the knights who was specifically in charge of the training. The knight took a deep breath and slowly put his helmet back on.

Alright. So you ran here, but what is it you’re asking of me your highness? I doubt I have anything of real worth to teach you, considering that the guards of your father are very versatile in their skill sets. So why not go ask them?

The Prince thought about this as this didn’t really cross his mind up until now. Feeling embarrassed that such a simple idea never crossed his mind, he replied while his hair hid his flustered face.

Well, you see I never really thought about that until you brought it up just now. You were just the first person I thought of since you were at the castle. Not to mention you struck me with a bit of curiosity since I don’t ever recall ever meeting you. Also, you were a trainer for the warriors in my father’s army. I figured you’d be my best chance at learning some things.”

The man hid his feelings about the conversation as when you’re confronted by the royal family for advice before they ask their royal tenentis. It’s often seen as great praise, but the man knew that he wasn’t the right individual to seek advice from, so his next words came out a bit harsh.

First off, my name is Sir Lawrence, and while I am tasked with the training of the men of the military I won’t be able to provide you with any solid advice, but if you feel the need to ask, go ahead.”

The Prince nodded and proceeded to ask.

How do you have the knights overcome their shortcomings if the tasks assigned are too astronomical?

Sir. Lawrence crossed his arms and sighed as the topic was a bit dull.

What I do is make sure the knights I train are able to adapt to any situation. What you need to do is make sure you have the proper equipment. Now please, do me a favor and leave me be. I’m dispatching warriors to deal with something.”

Sir. Lawrence turned his back to the Prince and went inside the barracks, leaving the young lord to ponder on his given advice. The frigid wind blew past the Prince as he turned around and started to walk back to the castle. The light in the sky at the time was almost completely swallowed by the darkness that was the night, with the torches that the merchants used to keep their shops lit soon becoming the only things that illuminated the kingdom.

The Prince’s attention was caught by a crowd of people who met by the castle. He walked over to the crowd and took a glance at what they were making a commotion about. What he witnessed shocked him as he saw Avorion dragging several tiger carcasses into the kingdom. The Prince watched in awe, but unlike the people who were only paying attention to the feat of power that was present before them, the Prince’s attention was on the beasties themselves and how their fierce claws dragged on the white pavement, leaving deep gouges on the ground. It was at this moment when the Prince found his clarity amongst the riff-raff praising his mentor.

At that very moment… the Prince had finally found it… his… inspiration.