Chapter 1:



In this vast empty soulless land, the wind was blowing heavily. And in there, two figures were wandering through it. The old man had a rusty silver crown on his head and a dark brown cape with some animal fur on top. The young man had similar clothes with just a regular cape on. The two continued marching hoping to find what they were looking for in this dead land. And after hours and hours of walking, they see it. A castle, bigger than anything they have ever seen in their lives. Its cracked and weathered walls had moss and ivy on the stone’s surface while vines were weaving from the bottom to the top of the castle. The two wanderers didn’t take time to observe, rather they entered fast and started searching for the main chamber.

Inside, it was cold, empty, and dark as they could barely see. They go up the long tall stairs which were at the height of an elephant. They had to climb to go up. Once they reach the top of the stairs, they see the huge two doors to the main chamber. They get closer and suddenly, the doors opened, making an ominous creaking sound. The two men entered and immediately, the candles were lit. They followed the light with their eyes and then they saw what only a few people had seen. A throne taller than mountains, and sitting was a godly figure. He was a towering slender man. His white skin shined like a blessing from the heavens. His long silver hair shimmered like the moonlight as it rested on his shoulders. The ethereal angel wings-shaped hairpins on each side gave an angelic aura around him. His clothing, rich and crimson fabric, cloaked him in the hue of passion and power, a testament to his divine nature. In one hand, he was holding a scale, on the other he was resting a longsword with blood rusted on it from the battles he had. This divine figure was the living embodiment of celestial beauty and otherworldly majesty. The two wanderers were speechless. Then, the godly figure spoke.

‘’It hath been long since I had guests.’’ His voice sent shivers down their spine as they immediately bowed down on their knees. ‘’What wouldst thou have?’’

‘’Your majesty, we’ve heard rumors of your whereabouts and we came from a far land. We would like to request your help.’’ The man with the silver crown said.

‘’Knowest thou who I am?’’

‘’Yes, Your Majesty. You’re the Shield Piercer, the Slayer of Men, The God of War.’’

‘’What dost thou wish from me?’’

‘’I wish you could help me vanquish my enemies. I am the king of a land in the north. The neighboring country has tormented me and my subjects. Their army is larger and we have been under siege for months now. I managed to escape with my son to find you, your majesty.’’

‘’Didst thou abandon thy folk to meet their demise?’’

‘’No, your majesty!’’ He looked up with a nervous expression. ‘’I came here personally as it would be shameful to send someone else.’’

After a solid minute of a trembling silence. The God of War spoke again.‘’very well. I shall lend thee aid.’’ The king and his son were overjoyed. ‘’Yet. A recompense I shall require.’’ They started looking at each other.

‘’May I ask what kind of payment? Is it Gold, jewelry?’’

‘’Ney. I seek not for gold or jewels, nor such trifles.’’ The god of war showed his scale to the king. ‘’Behold, I bear my scales. If thou desirest my assistance, thou must set upon the balance an equal exchange for thy request.’’ The king was in confusion. ‘’I already behold a match for my help.’’ He then pointed to the king’s son.

‘’M-My son? Do you mean…’’ The king was stuttering.

‘’Thy son’s life for the well-being of thy realm’s populace.’’ The two men were shocked. Unable to speak as their jaws dropped.

‘’B-But my son… He’s the future of the kingdom. I won’t be able to rule forever. I bear no other children. Is there anything else you can request as payment, your majesty? I beg you.’’ He bowed down, face planted on the ground pleading.

‘’Ney.’’ His voice changed as I became a bit aggressive. The king realized there was no way he could change his mind. The son saw his father fidgeting and unable to choose. He kept thinking of the kingdom and its people.

‘’Father.’’ The king looked to his right. ‘’You’re the king! And a king protects his subjects. No matter what! One mere life doesn’t matter.’’

‘’What are you saying, son?’’

‘’What I’m saying is that you mustn’t let your emotions cloud your decision, Father. If my death would help our kingdom to find peace again. Then, I’ll gladly give it away.’’ The king was speechless, seeing his son’s strong determination and courage. He smiled as the tears dropped down.

The son then pulled out his dagger and gave it to his father.

‘’Are you sure, my son? We could find another way to help our kingdom.’’

‘’There is not much time. The most efficient and fastest is this, Father.’’

He grabbed the dagger from his son’s hand. He could see the trembling hands of his son. Even with all the courage, he couldn’t resist the fear of death. The king eventually made up his mind.‘’Son.’’

‘’Yes, Father.’’

At that moment, he hugged his son for one last time as the dagger pierced his heart.

‘’You would’ve been a great King. I am proud of you, son!’’

‘’Thank you… Father…’’

He kept hugging his son until he put him down. He closed his eyes forever and then the king looked at the God of War.

‘’I did what you asked for. I killed my own son so you could help my kingdom.’’The God of War leaned forward and grabbed the son’s body, putting it on one side of the scale. As it got balanced, he spoke.‘’With this, I shall lend my aid to thee and thy kingdom. Thy son, a genuine sovereign, shall reside in the city of angels for all eternity.’’

Courage and sacrifice are virtues that transcend the boundaries of personal attachment and show a great commitment to the greater good. The choice of sacrificing your own life exemplifies courage when the well-being of an entire kingdom is at stake. It reflects the heavy burden every monarch bears to ensure the prosperity and security of the realm, an act of selflessness that stands as an enduring testament to the lengths one may go for the sake of the greater whole.