‘But mother! Fredo was the one who reported his uncle to father. Although, he could be so miserly at times, that is because he does not have enough. This is one part of my affair that I want you to manage.’
That was Era, the handsome daughter of the King. Many called her bold, others called her mighty, some saw her as formidable. She was a prince that came as a one true princess, the King usually thought.
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Almost every night, Princess Era encountered endless arguments with her mother, Queen Martha on her choice of a Lord, the one with who she will be by his side to rule the kingdom very soon. Era just found Fredo a hundreds of nights ago and swore not to let the son-of-a-nobody go.
‘Mother please, he has those hands and his footsteps sing with mine.’
Queen Martha remained silent.
‘You are my consort mother. Make him the Prince for he is the only one I see.’
‘When you place the wealth of a nation in the hands of a minor, what do we gain? He cares for his stomach.’ Queen Martha finally said.
‘His uncle tried to steal the leathers and the shillings but he exposed him even without confidentially. What do we gain with Mathew who sucks his thumb?’ Era asked back.
‘I think you should go and bring him here while I go see your father. Hurry! Mathew may be visiting.’ Queen Martha finished and stood.
Era became nonplussed about her mother’s sudden agreement but her last sentence. ‘Mathew may be visiting.’ She propped herself.
‘You never told me about Mathew and his plot.’ Era shouted in betrayal. She could not believe that her own mother must have known Mathew’s plots and scams.
The Queen gently began to climb the stairs from the last step where they sat. Politely, she turned to her daughter and said.
‘What more can I say, this is one first and last chance. Hurry and bring your Lord If you can.’ She smiled and continued her journey graciously. Queen Martha is known for fighting everything.
Till she disappeared into the King’s court, Era stood, still unaware of how to react. She only felt heavy volcanoes forming around her throat, about to explode through tears and with all her strength she screamed, ‘Guaaards!’
That night, the evil has gone to visit Fredo first in form of Mathew, the desperate statesman that wanted Princess Era. With the help of his own guard, he made Fredo kneel like a last survivor at the end of his small hut.
Mathew loved panicking. ‘So this is the dungeon where you want to claim my whore?’
‘Stop calling her a whore. She is the Princess.’ Fredo fired back bravely.
‘She is a whore just like others. It is the throne I seek and if you dare speak again, I shall cut you again and again before I let you sleep, coward!’
‘He has the guts to call me a coward.’ Fredo thought. ‘But he is the coward; he cannot fight alone, he comes with his stupid killers.’ Fredo shook his head looking at Mathew who was cleaning his knife over and over.
‘I won’t die tonight.’ Fredo said to himself. ‘I’d rather fight than die.’
His thoughts settled on escape. There were two doors. The killer was standing by his right at the door closer to him while Mathew was pacing about the other door right opposite him although a little distance there was. What could he do? His mind reasoned so fast like the craft of his arms.
‘The killer can only kill if he gets hold of the prey. Run through the door of the one who is weak. The one who is weak. Do not ponder on what will happen next, just run.’
Fredo shot one last look at Mathew.
It came as a shock to his adopters. Mathew saw himself falling to a corner. Fredo forcefully pushed him aside, even the killer pushed him too in pursuit of Fredo. Mathew has always been slow, only his commands to his guards come faster. He pursued them too, engineering the killer to get Fredo.
The bush path from Fredo’s hut suffered the heavy footsteps. Fredo was running as fast as he could but the killer was almost closing up on him. He could hear Mathew still panicking. Fredo never gave up, he kept running through the cloud of the darkness.
But he fell. Yes, he crashed.
Not unto the earth nor into the bush but into the hands of the Princess who was leading the guards to his hut. A short life consuming race had saved him. If he had waited just a little, he would have been ached to death. He would have missed the significance of that one star that changed the Queen’s mind into accepting him.
‘Arrest the traitors coming against the Prince.’ Era ordered the guards.
Still Fredo asked. ‘Who is the Prince?