Chapter 0:


A Bloom of Thorns

The kingdom of Rodwin fell that day, it burned to ashes. The great fire destroyed everything that came in its way. The people of Rodwin perished, but one survived. The prince, he lived. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people who lived in Rodwin, only the youngest prince of the kingdom survived. He stood there, on the Morin Bridge, outside the Kingdom's entrance, watching. Watching, as the flame destroyed it all. Houses, hay, humans and animals, they all burned the same, as if the fire could not differentiate between the living and the lifeless. The prince watched his family and friends melt in front of his eyes, his people who trusted the king, and even his beautiful white horse. They all burned. But he could do nothing, nothing at all. He wanted to move, but his legs wouldn't. He wanted to help, but he couldn't. All he heard were screams of agony. He covered his ears but the screams wouldn't leave him alone. He tried to cry but tears wouldn't fall from his eyes. He threw himself down on the ground and started screaming his lungs out. He closed his eyes tightly and pressed against his ears as hard as he could. He wanted to get the images out of his head, but he just couldn't escape them. The young prince saw hell that day, he saw suffering, and he saw pain.

When he was found, the bridge had burned too. He was lying on the edge of the burned bridge. Had the fire not stopped right there, the price would've burned too. It seemed as if the Gods themselves descended from the heavens to save the prince. He was found in the morning by the people travelling from a village. The villagers who found him were shaken. They had never seen such devastation. When they found the prince, they were certain it was a miracle.

"He must be God's own child." One of the villagers said.

"How fortunate he was, he must really be something special." Said the other.

"Unfortunate, you mean?" An old man interrupted. "This boy really is an unlucky one. He lost everything and you say he's fortunate?"

"At least he lived, isn’t that fortunate enough?" said one of the villagers.

“Only time can tell. It must be this boy’s fate to live.” Replied another villager.

The old man picked him up in his arms and looked at his face. Then he noticed something on his neck, but he couldn’t believe his own eyes.

"Oh, how terrible!" Exclaimed the old man. "He couldn't be God's child, for he has been saved by the devil's luck."

“What do you mean?” Asked the villagers.

“See for yourself.” The old man said pointing towards the prince’s neck.

All the villagers looked at him, they saw the Devil mark on his neck. They had a very similar reaction to that of the old man, they too could not believe what they were seeing.

The women fell down on their knees and started praying. While the men, terrified and stumped, held him high towards the sky in their hands.

"Hear me Gods! Take away this poor boy's life, for he has been cursed by evil. Take his life and free him of his suffering, and all the pain he will have to endure. Do not let evil have its way, have mercy lords, have mercy!" The old man shouted looking, and pointing his stick, towards the sky.