Disclaimer I don't own Kingdom Hearts, Disney or Square enix please support their official releases. The character Kyra is owned by the author MysteryGirl7Freak and the Reconnected Storyline and its characters such as West and Lydia belong to Prismrain13 please read both their works.
This is a sequel to my one shot 'Three Blades of a Stag', it take place three years before the events of Kingdom Hearts 1
The Horned Prince
Prydain – Castle of the Horned King
Prydain. A world born from war and magic. Like any other world, it had its beauty. The majestic countryside with fields and flowers that could make the most indifferent of people left in awe at the sight. The secret kingdom where the fair folk lay, lead and cared for by the kind hearted King Eidilleg.
However, like any other world, there are places that could make the bravest or foolhardy of men quiver. In the barren lands of Prydain, where the ground was hard and dry, the clouds were always a mixture of grey or red, and little signs of life, there could only be interpreted as signs of damnation for such a place.
This part of the world was considered a home for the monsters and criminals who never rest in Prydain.
As it so happens, it was a monster that was trying to make the rest of Prydain and beyond in the stars to be exactly like this horrible, self-made patch of hell.
Near the shoreline of the barren land lay an ugly looking castle. Unstable black towers which had decayed overtime and probably would crumble from the slightest pinch. The lower half of the castle didn't look any better. Like the towers, the gates were black and crooked with jiggered walls. The whole castle was stemming from a swamp-infested moat with an unstable bridge connecting to the main land attached to the castle.
Inside the castle where red floors covered with corpses, brown dirty walls, and torches lit up throughout the hallway. The rest of the castle interior was a complete puzzle. Rooms leading to inside bridges, kitchens, and dungeons. Unless you were the designer, you would get lost on your first step.
"Wake up! Wake up, you stupid boy!" An annoying squealing voice demanded.
Turning in his bed, the young man tried to block the noise by plugging his bed sheets into his ears.
"If you don't, then I will ask those pea-brains to ransack another village," The voice chuckled evilly.
The young man sighed before he got up and lit a candle inside his room.
The room itself looked no different from anything in the castle. The walls were made from light brown bricks. The ceiling the same bricks as the wall. The only difference was that the bricks were green due to mold.
As for personal items, the young man was the owner of a small wooden writing table, a bookcase on the far side of the room, and a small bed with a fur-lined blanket.
The young man in his mid-teens pulled the blanket off his head, revealing his long white silver hair and blue eyes. He got his fur blanket and used it to cover his nude body.
He walked to the wooden door and opened it to reveal an ugly, small, green imp who wore purple, medieval, peasant clothing that only covered the top of his head and stomach but not his bulgy green arms and legs. He had one eye forced shut and some teeth sticking out from his mouth.
"So you finally grace me with your presence BOY!" The nasty creature berated.
"I have a name, Creeper." The boy responded back with a tired deadpan voice.
"I don't care what your name is. The King wants to see you and that other layabout! So I suggest you stop being such a lazy good for nothing and..."
"And if you continue with your insults, the King will start to wonder what's taking you so long to get him. Making him wonder why he should have any use for you if you continue to be so incompetent." A new voice said as he came from the left side of the hallway.
"Kain!" The young boy exclaimed happily at the sight of his old friend.
A man, no older than the young man in the doorway, revealed himself to the two other castle occupants. This man had long, blond hair flowing down his head. His body was covered in dark purple armour with slight yellow trimmings that would appear in random places of his amour. He wore a purple belt which had in the front middle part of it a metal grey infinity symbol. He wore a helmet which had been designed to look like a purple dragon head with small yellow ears sticking out. The only physical parts of the body that could be seen were his hands and mouth. Everything else was covered in dragon armour.
Kain looked between the two. He crossed his arms. "So," he said in a calm yet demanding voice, "I see you still haven't accepted your place, Creeper."
Creeper snarled at the Dragon warrior. "Do not lecture me, 'DRAGOON'. His grace trusts me to help bring his vision into reality. Unfortunately for him, he must rely on you two miscreants."
Kain just gave a false smile as he shook his head at the foolish thought. "You really think his majesty relies on you? Don't flatter yourself, he only keeps...in fact, why does he keep you around? You don't contribute to his army. You don't contribute financially and any advice you give him he rarely listens. Makes me wonder why he does keep you?"
Creeper staggered, he himself looked unsure. "Well, eh. Em, you see he..." He couldn't find an answer. For each second stalled, he was becoming more and more anxious.
Kain bent down to look at the little monster. "That's why he keeps you. Fear; he wants to be reminded of how much fear he can cause to such a weak creature like you."
Creeper slowly backed away from the Dragoon. He soon reached the exit door to the apartments. He just snarled viciously at the two men. "You will get yours, reptile. Be sure of that." With that, the green creature left the two men without another word.
Kain just shook his head. He walked to his friend's door. "I may have been able to get him off your back. However, I doubt the King will accept any form of lateness," Kain warned.
The young man nodded. "I will change into my armour and meet you in the throne room."
"I will see you there, Cecil."
Cecil nodded to his long-time friend as he closed the door to his room.
The young man discarded his fur blanket and allowed his exposed body to be revealed. He walked slowly to his wardrobe and opened both its doors with his hands.
Inside was the only piece of clothing he owned. Or to be more specific, the only piece of clothing he was allowed to own.
Inside, being worn by a manikin, was dark black amour. The armour had covered the manikin completely. The design was quite frightful.
The helmet looked like a metallic panther head with two white glass eyes. Two small bull horns were sticking out of the helmet. If one looked at the back of the armour they could see a revealing gap where one could see a patch of red chain mail which covered the body underneath the armour. Two straps could be seen in the same position connecting the bottom half of the armour with the top half. While the armour was mostly black, there was a red line coming down from the right glass eye on the helmet all the way down to the right leg of the armour. There was also a belt in the middle of the suit similar to Kain's, only dark black with red lining and instead of the infinity symbol it showed a cross face of a grown man with long hair and a long, curly beard.
Cecil wasted no more time. While he didn't fear Creeper, he did know what type of person the king was. One who doesn't like failure in any area.
He was always able to put his armour on without any problems. Cecil had done it so many times it felt natural. There was never a need for him to be hesitant or dumbfounded. It wasn't long before he and the manikin had exchanged places in terms of who was wearing what. He took one quick look at his helmet.
He sighed. This armour was originally the king's, but when Cecil was training to be a Dark Knight the king had ordered his own corrupted Lunar Rock armour pieces to be reformed for Cecil. Truth be told, every time Cecil put it on he felt as if another piece of his humanity had faded.
Looking at his ugly helmet didn't help matters. It just kept reminding him of what he was losing and the legacy he was leaving once he had passed on to the next life.
He shook his head sadly. What else could be done? He turned the helmet around and used both his hands to slide it onto his head.
Once fully suited he walked to his desk. He opened the top half of it to reveal a secret drawer. Inside this secret drawer was his Samurai Sword that had once belonged to the king.
The Bloody Hunt, a samurai sword with a purple blade with a red lining and a black handle with a deer head on the top of the hilt with two small, silver stag horns coming out from the right and left sides of the hilt. The sword's blade in a red sheath covered with black linings.
The Dark Knight attached the sword which had been given to him by his king to his belt.
Without anything else to do, he left his room to proceed to the throne room and find out why his king had summoned him.
Just like the castle, the inhabitants were much to look at. While most castles would have armies of noble knights, this castle had rough thugs. Big, bulgy men who wore simple red shirts, random small pieces of armour, and had the brain capability of a pig (although, arguably, pigs would be smarter than these men).
The throne room wasn't any better like the rest of the castle. It was crooked, dark and messy. There were broken tables where the bandits would do their eating and drinking along with other personal pleasures.
Cecil never liked coming here. He doubted even the king liked coming here, looking at all these ruffians who have done so much misdeeds during their service for the king.
Cecil sighed. Is this what he squired for? He remembered long ago when he and Kain where just lads. Kain's family, the Highwinds, had taken him in. They were a noble house who lived in the Prydain Mountains.
Cecil smiled as he remembered the snowy rocks that surrounded the Highwinds' family castle, Behemoth's Keep, and the dragons that often roamed there. When Cecil came of the age of ten and Kain came to the age of eleven, their beloved home had been attacked. Both boys were able to escape on Kain's pet dragon, which was given to him on his birthday from his father.
Cecil still shivered at the memory of fire in the distance, the screams of Kain's parents and the rest who had unfortunately been caught in the attack. Cecil had loved the Highwinds as his own family. In fact, they were pretty much the only family he had.
The dragon which he and Kain had escaped on was heavily wounded from several spears in its flank. The poor thing died within hours before reaching the lower grounds of Prydain.
The area which the two had landed on was the Badlands of Prydain. Monsters, witches, a whole manner of beings that resided there that would happily feast on the two.
That was until he came. The Horned King, wearing his dark knight armour, slew each and every creature that was posing a threat to the two boys. Cecil had never been more scared in his life than when he first saw that demonic, human being.
Yet, in the strangest of scenarios, the Horned King actually welcomed the two boys into his care. He never said why, he just ordered it from the two. It was either go with him or die.
Over the years, the Horned King had rid himself of his own Dark Knight Armour and traded it in for a red hood that covered his entire body, except for his face. He wanted people to fear him, and feared him they did.
Cecil was given the Horned King's armour, which had been re-forged to fit onto Cecil. As for Kain, he choose the life of a Dragoon, the warriors of the sky and the tamers of the beasts which they had been named after.
Unfortunately, in order to gain Dragoon armour you must forge it from a real dragon skeleton. The only one available was the old dragon which saved both boys. Instead of giving it a proper burial, the Horned King ordered his men to skin the dead beast and rip its skeleton from its flesh. This was the first of Cecil's crimes. Letting the dragon that had saved him be torn apart by butchers. He knew Kain felt the same, but there was a difference. The Highwinds have had a long standing tradition of being Dragoon's. It was in their blood.
Kain simply upheld that tradition, forcing himself to dismiss any sadness he felt.
Year after year, crime after crime, Cecil felt more and more of a criminal than knight. Yet he could never find in himself to betray the man who brought him in.
At the end of the hall sat the Horned King. Wearing his red hooded robe, his decayed skin, his skeleton face and hands which had long nails growing from each of his fingers, and his two stag horns that stabbed out of his hood.
He was sitting on his stone chair, watching his bandit army make fools of themselves. Even though he lacked the ability to show it, he was disgusted himself to call upon these savages for aid.
Cecil walked to the throne and kneeled before the Horned King. "My Lord."
The Horned King raised his hand in acknowledgment. "So you have finally decided to grace me with your presence."
Cecil grimaced. "Forgive me. I didn't mean to oversleep."
"One who enjoys the luxury of sleep will one day loose the luxury of being alive," The Horned King threatened.
Cecil swallowed, mouth dry.
"No matter," The King said dismissively. "I have other needs for you." He snapped his fingers. "Dragoon." Kain appeared out of the shadows and kneeled next to Cecil. "I have a task for the both of you."
The Horned King poured some wine for himself. "Some fool of a lord is demanding that I relinquish my claim to this castle. He has sent me a letter threatening to use an army to remove me if I do not comply. This displeases me." The Horned King shattered the now empty glass bottle in his hand.
"What do you wish of us, my Lord?" Kain inquired.
"Meet him in his camp and then…"
Towards the east of the barren lands lay its exit. Near to the rocky dead soil was a meadow filled with emerald grass. Tents were up, horses were being fed, knights training their hardest. A war ready to be started and lives preparing to be lost.
Cecil and Kain came roaming into the field on their two horses. Cecil took a moment to look at the young men he would have to fight. Though if things went well then perhaps they would be able to avoid so much blood shed.
As they stopped their horses in the camp, all the warriors halted their training. The air stilled, the rustle of the wind filling the silence.
One of the knights came to the two men. He wore a standard silver suit of armour with black leggings and a helmet on top of his head. "What do you two want?" He asked in a stern tone.
Cecil frowned. It would appear that he and his adopted brother were not welcome here. It would seem these people have learnt of their reputation.
"Parley," Kain replied solemnly. "We do not come here to cause trouble. We wish to speak to your duke."
"And why is that?" The lead knight asked sarcastically.
"We have come here to negotiate," Cecil retorted.
The lead knight scoffed. "Fine, but remember; you two lap dogs are outnumbered."
Cecil dismounted his horse. "I will speak to him." He looked to Kain. "Stay here to guard the horses." Kain nodded.
Cecil walked to the royal tent. Unlike the others in the area, it was much bigger and seemed to act more like a house than the other tents did. He noticed two matching flags near the tent. Both were purple and had a picture of a golden, wild boar with white tusks embroidered on them.
This must the family sigil, Cecil mused. Every royal house had one. Strangely though, this symbol looked oddly familiar to him.
Cecil entered the tent.
Kain and Cecil's horses
These people were idiots. Granted, Kain did feel a small measure of respect for them, but in end they were still idiots.
He exhaled quietly.
How many times had he seen this scenario? Some random goody two shoes who thinks they are their messiah's champion to stand against his adopted father and for it to end with that said goody two shoes with their head on the block.
Kain just shrugged. While these people gave him looks of hatred he could only give them a look of sorrow.
"Kain? Kain Highwind?" A gentle voice asked.
Kain looked to his far side, in the distance near the pigs' den. He was able to see a beautiful young maiden. She had flowing, amber hair going down her backside, wore a beautiful yellow dress, and her eyes were a soft blue.
Kain smiled as he examined the young lady in front of him.
As she walked toward him, he gave her a simple bow. "My Lady Angharad," Kain announced softly.
"Kain, stop it," She scolded. "We were never this formal when we children. I don't see why we should be now?"
Kain chuckled."I suppose you're correct in that sense, my lady." Kain returned to his standing position as he folded his arms.
Angharad nodded. "That's better. I must say you've become a real stiff. What happened to that little boy who could not end the day without brewing a fight?"
Kain's features changed from joyful into sadness.
It didn't take long for Angharad to understand. "Oh Kain. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"
Kain calmed her down, settling his hands onto her own. "Please don't worry. It was a long time ago. I've moved on."
Angharad felt at ease once the Dragoon had reassured her no bad blood had been made between them. Still, it didn't sway her from her impending question.
"I understand that, but why with the Horned King of all people?" She asked.
Kain let her hands go/ "Please do not ask me that."
"Kain, he's a monster," Angharad stated.
"Yet you're the ones who are planning an invasion against him, Lady," Kain retorted.
"It's Princess, actually," Angharad corrected him.
"Princess?" Kain asked, puzzled, "On what grounds?"
"The castle that belongs to your master once belonged to my uncle, King Bowen. As he is dead and has left no heirs, my father has declared himself the rightful king of House Llyr," Angharad explained.
Kain sighed heavily. He rubbed the back of his neck. "So let me guess, your father wants to take back what he claims is his family's castle from my master."
"Yes and no," Angharad replied.
"What do you mean by no?" Kain inquired.
"I don't know exactly, but there is something in the castle, some type of magic weapon that can…"
Kain put his hand on her mouth. "Do not tell me, do not tell me anything. Anything I know my master will know."
He took his hand away. Angharad nodded. "I understand, Kain. It's just that, for my father, his ambition to become King has made his superiority complex worse. He always had an ego problem. If he does become king, I hope he may start being open minded; gentler than the Horned King, but still firm."
"Don't get your hopes up," Kain replied, "One thing I have learned from power is that it's so suffocating it's next to impossible to do anything truly good. One says they do it for the people. It's a simple lie your father and those like him tell themselves to hide the reality of their reasons. They simply want to find excuses to look down on those beneath them."
Angharad looked away. She knew her father was a hard man. There were times he would let his temper get the better of him and take it out on her. Either verbally or, worse, physically. She forgave him. He was her father and where else could she go? Still, he did make it hard for her to love him, treating her like property rather than a human being.
"I don't want to have that type of relationship with my children," Angharad admitted.
Kain gave a soft smile. "I remember when we were young, you would pretend we an old married couple. What were the names of the children again?"
Angharad giggled from the memory. "If it's a boy, Leonbow. If a girl, it would be Meena."
Kain laughed. "My, those were innocent times." His laughter died in his throat. "It's strange, as a child we always complain about the toys we don't have or the games we can't play. Yet as adults, we quickly realize the luxury of such innocence, only for it to vanish by age and learning the reality of the world."
Angharad sighed. "Kain, I wanted to ask you something."
Kain nodded and edge his left elbow toward her. He wanted her to speak her mind to him.
Angharad turned her gaze to her father's tent. "I can't shake off this feeling that my father will fail in this crusade of his. If so, then every person's fate in this camp will be sealed."
Kain shrugged. "My master would be willing to negotiate." Even he knew how false his words were.
Angharad frowned at the Dragoon. "Kain, we both know what your master does with the dead. There would be no chance he would leave any of us alive."
"So what is it that you wish me to do, Angharad?" Kain asked.
"I want you…"
"My Lady!" a voice shouted.
Both princess and Dragoon turned to see a man in his forties, long black hair coming down the sides of his face, green eyes, a yellow shirt with a red leather jacket, and green leather trousers with long black boots.
He walked smoothly in between Kain and Angharad. He went straight into the middle of the pair and turned his back toward the Dragoon. This was an obvious form of disrespect aimed at Kain.
"Princess," The man berated, "You should be in your tent. As future queen, you must be trained in the arts of ruling and the correct composure that a future queen, such as yourself, must make sure such standards do not falter."
Angharad sighed, rubbing her eyes in annoyance. "With respect, Lord Stormwax, I..."
"With all due respect, Princess, as future queen it is your duty and obligation to make sure your father's legacy lives on through your children and grandchildren..." Stormwax growled to the young lady.
Before Kain could even move, he was force to witness this Lord strike the young princess. The blow was so hard it caused her to drop to the ground.
Stormwax bent down and grabbed her by the front of her dress. "You are my wife to be. If not officially then by practice. Like any good queen, you shall do what your King orders and I am ordering you to GO BACK TO YOUR TENT!" He roared.
He threw her to the slab of ground near her tent. She slowly raised herself up, put her hand on the bruised side of her face.
She quickly turned to take one last look to Kain. She could see his hands had balled into fists, probably wanting to pummel Lord Stormwax for attacking her.
She shook her head and return her tent.
Stormwax turned with an ugly glare at Kain. "What business is it of yours to communicate with my wife!"
Kain simply stared at the horrid man. "I believe the correct term is fiancé, Richard."
"That's Lord Stormwax to you, 'Dragoon'," Stormwax snarled as he poked Kain's armour viciously.
Kain remained stoic. "Ward of Duke Harry Llyr, heir to Snowflake castle, and presuming successor to Duke Andrew."
"That's King Harry. Once we get rid of your 'lot', he will take his rightful place as King. A much better one than his brother ever was," Stormwax claimed smugly.
"It wouldn't have anything to do with you putting ideas in his head?" Kain asked as he began to cross his arms and walk toward to the left of the camp. "From what I hear from our prisoners, you're always trying to put ideas into his head."
Stormwax snorted like a pig. "I only want to help my King achieve what is his by the right of law."
"Does that include marrying his daughter and thus making you his successor?" Kain laughed sarcastically. "You truly are a greedy suck up, aren't you, Stormwax?"
Stormwax's face turned as red as a tomato.
Suddenly it changed back to a clam yet nasty smile. "At least I get his daughter."
He moved very closely to Kain. It wasn't long before he was talking into the Dragoon's ear. "I heard she has the body of a goddess. It will bring me great pleasure to know I have access to this wonderful treasure and you don't." He smirked as he walked away to his fellow soldiers.
Kain could only watch. He had no love for these people. They were hopeless crusaders that claimed they were in the right, but they were just like any other scumbag that came and lived.
He turned to face the Princess's tent. Warm memories of his childhood started to resurface.
"She is stronger than you think."
Duke Harry's Tent
Cecil lifted the tent's long, purple flap as he enter. This tent was indeed the most luxuries one from the whole group of them.
The tent was separated into three layers. The middle layer where Cecil had entered from was as big as a living room and it took up most of ground that it was set upon. A giant table was in the middle of this layer. The duke had probably used it for both battle planning and royal feasts. Judging from the size, Cecil estimated that at least twenty-two people could sit down and take up most of the table.
The other two layers of the tent seemed to be smaller than the centre area. Cecil couldn't make out what was inside of the left area due to being covered and guarded by soldiers. It must have been the Duke's private quarters for sleeping.
Cecil was about to think of the right area, but a soldier got in his way.
"Follow me, Horned Prince," The warrior ordered bitterly.
Even though no one could see it due to his helmet, Cecil's face had become one of annoyance.
The Horned Prince; it was no official title but rather a nickname. A nickname created from those who despise him. Despise his master. It was name one would give to a lap dog.
Cecil hated that nickname so much. Yet he could never find the strength to tell everyone else otherwise.
He didn't have time to argue. He had come here with a job and he wasn't going to be dismayed by people he didn't care about.
Cecil walked behind the soldier as they conducted their small trek to the right layer of the tent.
As soon as they entered the right layer, Cecil was finally given the chance to examine. From what he could observe this was some type of makeshift throne room.
The chair was large and made from stone. On top of the chair's seat were numerous peacock feathers bursting out from the top of the chair. They were kept together by a golden shield which held the peacock feathers within it.
What got Cecil's attention was the man who was sitting on the chair. He was in his fifties, blue eyes, short ginger hair with a beard that covered his mouth. He wore very fine clothes; a white shirt with a large, red, furry jacket and golden trousers with blue boots. What made him stand out was the number of jewellery which he wore. Rings on each finger, golden bracelets on each arm, and a giant chain necklace around his neck which contained a set of emeralds on each link.
Cecil noticed that the guard in front of him had moved to the far-right side of the makeshift thrown to stand in symmetry with another guard on the far-left side.
'These two warriors must be the Duke's personal guards,' Cecil thought mentally.
He made a quick bow to the Duke. "Its an honour to meet you Duke..."
The guard banged his staff on the floor. "You are addressing King Harry the third, Dark Knight. You shall show him the proper respect."
Cecil looked between the three men in front of him. The guards were obviously very loyal to the Duke seeing how strongly they wanted him to be recognised as a King.
For the Duke himself, his facial expression looked sour and he cast his eyes down to Cecil. It was a tactic lords would use to show they were the higher ups to the common people. Cecil knew that much from his master.
Speaking of which…
"With all due respect, my Lord, I cannot recognise you as the King of the Badlands. I have already pledged my life and service to the true king."
The Duke gave no emotion. "I am the 'true' king, boy," he responded bluntly.
Cecil stood up high and tall for the three men to see him. "Sir, as a duke, you were given a fair share of land to own while your brother, the king before my master, ruled the barren lands. Why after so long have you decided to reclaim these lands?"
"I don't need to answer your questions, Horned Prince," the Duke sneered.
"I disagree. My lord, have you examined the Badlands? It's filled with monsters and dead crops. Being a king of such chaos would be an incredible task," Cecil explained.
The Duke kept his eyes down on Cecil. He wanted this boy to feel like the snail he was. "I am the rightful king. I was born to restore the lands to their rightful glory."
"My lord. Right is one thing but in this situation, you would need a lot of magic and warriors to restore these lands," Cecil countered, "Without those, your family lands will remain a graveyard for Prydain's scum."
"IT'S MY RIGHT!" The duke roared as he stood up from his chair. "My brother was a weak man, being beaten by that 'monster' you call master. I kept telling our father he would lead our family lands and dynasty to ruin."
He stomped closer and closer to Cecil until both men were face to face with one another. The Duke doing what he could to be higher than Cecil.
"I am the King. I am a direct descendant of King Sora Llyr the First. This my land, my crown, my reward for having to watch that weak excuse of a brother of mine ruin my family's great name."
He grabbed Cecil by the collar and raised Cecil to his eye level. "I will be damned if I have some peasant renegades and deformed freak sit on my rightful chair. Anyone who stand in the way of my destiny, I shall cut down."
Cecil didn't really want to reply. He didn't want to be in this camp or this tent. He just wanted to go home.
"I have orders from the King I have sworn my duty to. I cannot go against him. If I do, then I would be just like him. A creature without honour or purpose," Cecil confessed.
"You're a COWARD!" The Duke snarled and spat at Cecil's helmet.
Cecil didn't take the insult or responded to it. "Please, Duke Harry, leave. Go back to your previous lands. I do not want you or your allies to be killed."
The Duke gave a mocking smile as his voice became more intimidating. "What does a lapdog like you have against a King like me?" He quizzed.
Cecil breathed in and out very slowly. "Dark Flare Soul!" Cecil's whole armour was engulfed by a purple silhouette. Within seconds the silhouette exploded off him, the tent catching fire.
The tent burst into a purple inferno. Some of the warriors tried to escape it but were caught in the fiery wave. Some had been badly injured, or some unfortunately died from the attack.
As large quantities of grey smoke rose, a figure jumped through the grey darkness. Cecil landed a few feet away from his horse with Kain waiting with his own horse, his arms in their usual crossed state.
"So, I guess negations didn't work out?" He inquired to his adopted brother.
Cecil shook his head.
Kain inhaled a deep breath and groaned. "Guess we proceed as usual."
"HORNED PRINCE!" Cecil and Kain turned their heads to see the Duke rising from his burnt tent, holding a giant, golden hammer with a white handle in both his hands. Four of his knights came to his side. Two were wielding lances while another two were wielding staffs.
"I will rip that smug head from your shoulders," The Duke proclaimed bitterly. He turned to check on his daughter and ward. "Richard, take her and the rest of the men back to Castle Snowflake. I will rejoin you once I deal with the lower-class scum."
Lord Stormwax nodded thoroughly. He didn't give much of an emotional response, mainly because he was scared out of his pants.
"Come on, let's GO!" He ordered everyone. He grabbed the princess's arm and forcefully took her deeper into the meadow with the other remaining troops following the pair.
Cecil, keeping his eyes on the duke, whispered to Kain. "Take care of them."
Kain nodded and took out his lance. The long handle was navy blue, the tip of the lance had a dragon's head, the nose of the head was sharp enough to be used as a spike. The top areas of the head had a black lining and the eyes were red emeralds. Fantasy's Legacy.
"Understood." Kain used his Dragoon skills to jump high into the air. So high no one could have kept track of were about in sky he entered or were he was going to land.
Cecil unsheathed Bloody Hunt from his scabbard, the samurai sword his master had bestowed upon him. He got into his fighting stance, ready to take down the Duke and his four guards.
The Duke spat on the ground. "Take him but leave him alive. I want the pleasure of beheading him myself."
His two lancers nodded and rushed toward Cecil.
Cecil remained calm and stayed in his fighting position. One of the lancers tried to whack him with the back of his lance but Cecil dodged in time. The second lancer tried to stab him while he ducked but Cecil blocked the attack with Bloody Hunt.
Cecil jumped backwards to give himself more space. The lancers tried to stab him simultaneously. Cecil rearranged his stance so that he was sideways. He used Bloody Hunt to whack one lance out of the guard's hand. He grabbed the lance and whacked both guards on the head, knocking both enemies out.
The Duke grinded his teeth and looked to his mage guards. "Burn him."
Both nodded and raised their staffs.
Two fire bolts formed and aimed toward the dark knight.
Cecil put his hands on Bloody Hunt's handle and moved the sword around in a circle. The speed and movement made the sword look like helicopter blades.
A circular glass shield formed in front of Bloody Hunt. Once the fire attacks reached this shield they bounced straight back to the two mages, knocking both out.
The Duke continued to show disdain toward the young Dark Prince.
Cecil changed from his fighting position to a more relaxed one. "There is no way you can defeat me, Duke."
"THAT'S KING TO YOU!" The Duke roared as his hammer was engulf by a white light and left his hands all by itself.
Cecil was startled. The Duke's weapon could move by itself? What type of magic was this?
Unfortunately, Cecil's query was cut short by the hard-stinging pain in his head as the hammer came down and bashed his head.
The pain caused Cecil to lose his stance and fall to the ground. The hammer then proceeded to attack him on the back, causing him to howl in pain as his legs and arms stretch out in agony. His hands changing grip positions to process methods to deal with the pain.
The hammer banged his stomach from the left, causing him to be pushed to the far end of the meadow.
Cecil tried to get up and attempt to fight back. Through the pain, he was starting to remember something Kain had told him so long ago. The way this weapon's magic operated was similar to a sword which had been wielded by the Duke's Brother. Both weapons possessed a special magic which enabled them to act on their own, their owners could just sit tight and let their weapons do all the work.
From the evidence, it would seem that House Llyr knew a secret personal magic that they could incorporate into their weaponry.
"I have not allowed you to stand up, dog!" The Duke berated harshly. His hammer went in for another attack.
Cecil tried to doge with Bloody Hunt, but the hammer's movement was too quick for him to take any decisive action. The hammer floated behind him and whack his back causing him to once again crumble to the ground.
"Multiply," The Duke whispered with a sway of his hand. His golden hammer self-replicated itself like a glitch. Within seconds, five hammers were looming over Cecil's beaten body.
"End him," The Duke ordered.
Registering his words, the hammers proceeded with their assault. Hitting the Dark Knight in every way they could. Not allowing him one second to recover. He soon had to change into a forced fetal position, covering his eyes with his hands.
"You see this Horned Prince?" The Duke said, "This is what happens when you go against your betters." Cecil's armor was starting to crack from the hits.
"I am the rightful King. My destiny was given to me by the rights of the world. I was born for great things. You? You were born to be nothing. You are nothing but a pathetic lapdog. You could never be anything worthwhile."
Cecil, despite the pain, had heard these words. One would have been dismayed to hear those words. In Cecil's case, it awoken memories he had tried to forget.
Cecil's many horrible memories
Being with the Highwind family was a great gift. In the time he had spent with them, he learnt the meanings of duty and respect. They taught him what it means to be a true warrior; the morales, the responsibility, and the oaths you make to those you care for.
With the Horned King as his master, those lessons went down the dark ditch.
The Horned King had train him and Kain mercilessly. For some reason, Cecil got it worse than Kain.
He never knew why. Was it because he was training to be a dark knight as his master once had been or was it just how the Horned King viewed as correct training?
Training would mean torture usually.
Cecil grew up with torture and going through painful methods. His hands were tied up straight, forcing him stand. He would be whipped daily in this position. He was once taken by two of the King's thugs and had his head dunked in water in a repeating loop. He almost died from oxygen lost. Another time was when his master just had him beaten up. His body would still tingle badly anytime he remembered those attacks.
His master words still felt fresh in his mind.
"Not good enough, again!"
"Why won't you get stronger?!"
"Are you truly this unstable to improve yourself?!"
"Why was I cursed with a weak child like you?!"
"I can see why you do not have a family. They probably abandoned you."
"You will never be somebody."
Each of these sentences Cecil replayed in his mind, felt more like daggers than just words. No matter what he did his enemies and his allies would never see him as anything more than dirt or a means to an end.
Apart from Kain, he didn't really have anyone who cared about him. No one would care if he lived or died.
One reason why he had this idea was a small memory from his baby-hood.
Granted when one is at such a young age, it's amazing they can be able to remember anything during that age. For Cecil, this was true but there was one memory that kept finding ways to reply itself.
He was a toddler in a big, damp, empty house. It was dark, he could tell from the windows that there was a dark storm coming. This storm was bad. He had been told this type of storm was a world's death sentence.
He wasn't the only one in the house. There was another boy, probably four or five years old. Cecil could not truly make out his age, but it had to be somewhere underneath ten from the boy's appearance.
The boy looked scared. He had no idea what to do. He knew what was outside and it terrified him. He kept looking from Cecil to the door. His face was anguished, he was crying, he had no idea what do in this situation.
The boy left Cecil in the house and made a run for it.
Cecil didn't know what happened after. His life had always been in Prydain, the Highwinds, and then The Horned King.
He was hated in this life and in this world. He deserved to be for his actions. He had no right to argue for his right to live.
He wants to do the right thing by everyone yet there is always something that will make sure he does the wrong thing. Why was he so spineless? Why couldn't he just stand up for what's right? Why was he so weak?
End of Flashback
"You see now, Horned Prince. Die in the dirt where you belong," The Duke ordered smugly.
Cecil kept feeling the pain from the hammers. Yet a new pain awoke with him. The pain of his insecurity, the pain of losing the Highwinds, the pain of being a mercenary for the Horned King.
The pain of knowing he would always be forever scarred with the title of the Horned Prince.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Cecil screamed as he released a barrier of Dark energy from his armour, destroying the hammers. The original hammer returned back to the duke.
The would-be-king claimed back his hammer, his face a look of shock.
Cecil recovered from his ordeal. The cracks in his armour healed through the dark powers of the corrupted lunar rock which it had been forged from. Purple-blue fire surrounded him. The flames were dancing around him in a circle as if he was some type of lord himself.
His grip on Bloody Hunt tightened so much. Any tighter and the handle would have very likely broken.
The Duke's expression changed into one of anger. How dare this butcher's boy defy the rightful king. He would show this upstart Horned Prince where his place was.
"End him, END HIM, NOW!" The Duke ordered his hammer.
The hammer in response had its top completely encased with silver spikes. The tip of each spike had been encased with fire. It rushed to Cecil with maximum speed. Cecil just stood there not changing from his stance and listening to the voices in his head.
"You are a bad person, you deserve to die."
"No one would miss you."
"When have you ever benefited anyone's life?"
"You can't keep doing this. You can't keep finding excuses to hate yourself."
Cecil felt the sting of negative feelings rush through his body system like an ocean. The numbness of self-loathing coursed through each part of his body, eating all the positive traits within himself. He was poison. He was born to live a poisonous life.
Cecil raised Bloody Hunt's blade to his helmet's mouth piece and whispered, "Knight's Disdain."
The blade encased itself in a green fire.
Cecil raised his weapon and leapt toward the magical hammer.
Both weapons had connected with each other before the pressure of their might pushed them away.
Cecil had to be faster and so he was. He saw clearly the hammer slowly retreating from him to recover for another attack. He would not give the weapon the chance. He swung his flaming sword once again at the hammer, destroying some its spikes.
He gave another swing at it, more furiously than his previous one, breaking the hammer in two. He kept slashing and slashing his sword at the hammer, even when it lost its magic.
It wasn't long until the magical hammer was nothing more than just miniature, broken pieces on the ground.
Cecil turned his gaze toward the Duke.
The Duke shivered. This was no Knight, this was a monster. He really was the Horned King's son. What the hell had he gone up against?
Realising his odds of beating the Dark Knight had perished in flames, the Duke walked slowly backwards step by step. After a few steps, he flat out ran away like his life depended on it which it did.
Cecil watched his prey trying to get away from him. Something inside Cecil had been unleashed. He raised the fired up Bloody Hunt into the air. The green fire came off its blade and reformed in the air.
It soon transformed into a silhouette. A king wearing robes and jewels like any other king would. Its face, however, was not that of a human face but rather a cauldron with a sinister terrifying face crafted on its front.
Cecil pointed his sword toward the Duke as a sign to his fiery creation to attack.
It did as its master had commanded and charged straight at the duke. The Duke only had a few seconds to turn his head around in fear as the attack hit him.
The attack caused large amounts of smoke to arise. Cecil took a breath, calming himself down from his inner rage.
He walked toward where the Duke had been hit. He was able to swipe the smoke away to get a clearer view of the Duke.
He was still alive. However, his clothes had been burned to rags and his jewellery had been damaged severely. The fallen man who Cecil was eyeing did not look like a king. He looked like a common begger you would find in the streets.
North of the Meadow Plains
Everything was happening so fast for Angharad.
One day, her father was declaring himself the rightful king of the Badlands. Next, he is preparing an army to take down the Horned King. Now, her fiancé and the rest of the army are retreating from two men.
She hated this. She hated feeling so weak, so alone. She had felt this way ever since her mother died. Her father was never close to her and Richard, while he was her fiance, was never affectionate to her. Only using her as a punching bag and saw her as payment to obtain a much greater prize.
There was only one person in her life that ever truly made her feel happy. And now, years later, he was hunting them down like rabbits.
"Incoming!" One the guards screamed as he pointed to the sky.
Everyone stopped to look at the sky. A speeding purple blur came crashing down at a speed only matched by lightning.
Kain came crashing down onto the guard who had yelled out the warning, stabbing the guard with Fantasy's legacy through the chest.
He jumped off the guard, easily taking the spear out of the deceased. Three other guards started shooting arrows at the Dragoon but none hit their mark.
Kain dodged each arrow. For him it was like a dance, using the wind as his partner to avoid each attack. He landed ten feet away from the three guards as his hand touched the soft ground. He went quickly back into his fighting position and threw his lance in a straight line.
The three guards might as well have worn red circles on their chests as Kain's lance stabbed all three of them in row.
"Return," Kain ordered as Fantasy's Legacy jumped out of the three guard's chests and returned to the Dragoon's hands.
Lord Stormwax started to perspire. This couldn't be happening, he wasn't meant to be in this dire situation.
The plan was to get the Duke to reclaim his lands, marry his daughter, and become king himself once the old fool died. He wasn't meant to be running away from this menace.
Stormwax still kept his grip on Angharad's arm, but he reached his sword and unsheathed it. "Stay away, Highwind! You're outnumbered!" He warned, floundering.
Kain could hear the man's voice cracking. It was a little amusing to see this nasty human being show how small he truly was.
"I believe me and my colleague have demonstrated that numbers have no bearings to our skills. It would be best for your regiment to disperse and return to your home lands," Kain stated.
Stormwax laughed sarcastically. "You would like that, wouldn't you, Highwind? You Highwinds think your something special. My father knew how cheap your family…"
"I was talking to Queen Angharad," Kain retorted. "With her father's arrest and the fact that she is the closest relative to house Llyr at this time, she is automatically in charge of this army."
Stormwax forcefully moved Angharad in front him and put her in a headlock. "She is my bride! I may have lost a kingdom today, but I will not leave here empty handed! I oversee this army, not this brainless girl."
Kain seemed unfazed by his answer. In fact, he just sheathed his weapon.
"Your giving up, Dragoon? Good," Stormwax sneered at him, "Good. Prydain doesn't need weak blood like yours. You Highwinds always looked down at my family for too long. Even dead, your family still finds the gull to look down on us."
Kain stared at him, face calm and expressionless.
"Well, let me tell you something." Stormwax raised his sword toward Angharad's neck. "The day of the Stormwax has come. Prydain will be wiped clean of your weak bloodline on this day. I shall take my rightful place as King and bring Prydain into a new…ahh!"
Stormwax groaned in pain as Angharad had used her elbow to jab him in the stomach.
His grip on her, as well as the sword near her neck, was down. Now free, she grabbed a small knife from her dress and stabbed Stormwax in the leg.
Stormwax yelled once more in pain. His face red with fury, Stormwax looked at the new Queen. "What do you think your doing!" He demanded.
"For attempting to murder and hostage a Queen, I sentence you to death, Richard Stormwax," She demanded in a strong, unwavering voice.
"You have…ugh…ugh!" Stormwax didn't have time to finish his sentence as an arrow was shot in his back by one Llyr's guards.
His eyes rolled up to the top of his head as he breathed his last. This was the end of Richard Stormwax as his corpse fell on the green grass.
The guard who shot him walked up to Queen Angharad. "Forgive us, my Grace. We would have acted sooner. It's just... he had a sword to your neck, we didn't want take the chance of hitting you," the guard explained.
Angharad nodded. "It's fine. Take the men back to the castle. There, we can start to plan our next course of action."
The guard nodded but felt unsure as he looked to the Dragoon who had hunted and killed four of their men.
"My Grace, are you sure we can trust him?" The guard asked.
Angharad nodded. "His weapon is sheathed. We must take it as a sign that he wishes not to harm us. Go, we must survive for the sake of house Llyr."
The guard nodded and called the rest of the troops to carry out their retreat. Angharad stayed behind to have some words with someone she once cared deeply for.
Kain looked at her, bemused. "You are not afraid of me?"
Angharad shook her head. "We both know I could never be afraid of you. You could never hurt me."
Kain shook his head sadly. "You would be right on that account." He walked closer to her "What do you plan to do?"
Angharad sighed. "I must do what's right for my kingdom, my house, for Prydain. I can't put my personal feelings before my duties as a Queen."
"You're going to marry," Kain answered for her.
Angharad nodded, agreeing with him. "My father owned small lands. With this attack, the Horned King will want revenge. To strengthen my people's protection and gain a chance to win this war, I must marry someone who can provide the money and armies."
"You wouldn't marry for love?" Kain asked.
"I would marry for my people to have a future in this broken world. Love… that's not a luxury for people like us," She stated.
Kain came closer to her. "I could be that person." He gingerly stroke her face. She didn't smack his hand away.
She breathed in heavily. His touch was amazing, soft yet evenly hard. It sent shivers down her spine, yet she felt a warmth from his touch.
She swallowed, mouth dry. "Kain, there is no chance."
"We could be happy together. We could leave these lands. Start somewhere fresh, no titles, no wars, just us," he pleaded.
She touched his hand gently with both of hers. He looked directly into her beautiful eyes. He felt he could see all the worlds inside of them.
"When your family died, you lost everything. Your kin, your wealth, everything. You're a warrior for the Horned King. If we wed, so many people would be against us. They would see you as a deserter and a traitor. I must think for what's best for my people. Marrying you would do more harm than good for them," She said honestly.
Kain took this in. His hand left hers gently as it fell to his side. "Is that your choice?"
"It has to be my choice."
"Then there is nothing more to say." Kain turned around and started to walk back to the Horned King's castle.
"What's the name of your mother?" Angharad shouted to him.
Kain stopped in his tracks. What a very strange and odd question. He turned to face her and gave her his reply. "Eilonwy Highwind."
Angharad smiled, a shade of red brighting her face. "I think that's a name I would like to give to my daughter."
Kain smiled. "Thank you, my Queen." He bowed to her and began his trek back.
Angharad nodded and began to walk back toward her guards.
Yet with each step the Dragoon and Queen made, both felt a weight come underneath their feet. It became harder and harder to move with each step.
Not being able to take it anymore, the new Queen and the disgraced Dragoon raced toward each other. They embraced one another and engaged in a long, passionate kiss. Eyes closed, both only feeling the calm, warm wind within the meadow. The world stood still in that one moment.
Then too soon, the kiss ended.
Kain and Angharad looked sadly at each other. Kain released his arms from her back, watching her red hair move with the wind like a song.
He staggered away from her slowly. "Goodbye Angharad," he said to the woman he would never see again.
He jumped into the sky once more, never being seen again.
The Horned King's Throne Room
Cecil and Kain returned to their 'home'.
They were both manhandling the fallen duke as they entered their master's throne room. Most of the barbarians had fallen asleep from over drinking.
"Here he is, my king. Duke Harry of Llyr," Cecil announced as they pushed the duke onto the stone-cold floor.
The Horned King twitched his fingers as he examined the fallen lord. "So, this is the would be king?" He asked.
Duke Harry grunted as he rose up. "I am King Harry the Third, the rightful king to this castle, its properties, and its lands."
"Whatever gave you that notion?" The Horned King asked.
"It's mine by right," The Duke hissed at the deformed king.
"Do you truly think anyone cares about rights in this world of ours?" The Horned King replied bluntly as he stood from his throne and slowly descent down to the floor which the duke was standing on.
"You are a monster without honour," The Duke said, trying to hold some power in the argument.
"And you are a child who hasn't grown," The Horned King reprimanded.
It wasn't long before the Horned King and the Duke where face to face. The Duke could not attack the Horned King due to his hands being shackled. Still he would not lose this debate.
"I know where you came from, I know what you used to be. You may think you have something to go by with your minions and your repulsive look. But I know where you came from. I did some digging. It was hard, but I got there in the end to uncover the dirt on you."
Cecil and Kain looked at each other. Both knowing this would not end well.
"You're the son of a pub skank. You didn't even live in Prydain. You were raised in some off-shore land. You don't have the right to be king, you don't even have to right to say you are from this land, considering how long stayed in that other one. You are just a washed-up clown!" The Duke finished before spitting at the Horned King's feet.
The Horned King didn't do anything at first. A few seconds passed as put his hand on the Duke's cheek.
"You call me a fool, yet you're the one who has sealed their own fate." The Horned King used his long fingernails to slashed the duke's cheek, blood flowing from the fresh scars. The Duke howled in pain.
The Horned King turned his back on the Duke. "For the crimes of trespassing and the attempt on my life, I sentence you to death." The Horned King clicked his fingers as three thugs came. Two of them grabbed the Duke by his shoulders, pushing Cecil and Kain away.
The Duke's face became a very unhealthy shade of green once the Horned King said the word death. The Duke tried to think of something. "I demanded to be judged by a jury of my peers."
The Horned King nodded. "And so you shall. Creeper."
The little gremlin staggered out of the shadows with an evil smile on his face. "Yes, Your Majesty?"
"How do you find him?" The Horned King inquired.
"GUILTY! HAHAHAHA!" Creeper laughed menacingly.
"My verdict stands. Take him away," The Horned King ordered.
The Duke, still desperately thinking how to escape this fate, pleaded. "I was wrong, you are the rightful king! Please, spare me! I can be of great use to you!"
"The only way you can be useful to me is with your death." He turned to Creeper. "Make sure our guest receives a proper welcome before his execution."
Creeper smiled as he took out a black whip. "As you wish, my Lord. Hahahaha!"
"Please!" The Duke begged, crying as the two guards took him away. "I am so sorry, please don't kill me. I…I don't want to die."
"Shut up, swine!" Creeper sneered as he whipped the Duke's back.
Creeper turned to the third thug. The thug put a black hood on his face. "We shall have some fun with him, right Torturer?"
The torturer just smiled evilly to Kain and Cecil, showing his rotten, crooked teeth as he and the rest of his party took the Duke away. Cecil frowned as he heard the Duke's crying and screaming along with Creeper's wretched laughter.
The Horned King began walking toward the castle's staircase. "I have no words to say to you two. Train and rest," He simply stated as he walked to his private chamber. The Dark Knight and Dragoon were left alone in the throne room.
Kain breathed softly, "Might as well take his advice." He turned to go outside the castle and kill some monster for his training. He stopped when he noticed Cecil didn't move, seemingly to be frozen in place.
"Cecil?" Kain asked.
"He was a bully and a hypocrite. So why do I feel so horrible?" Cecil pondered, voice low. "We gave him this fate, Kain. We're the reason his last moments shall be so dreadful." Cecil's hands curled into fists.
"We serve the Horned King, Cecil. We took an oath," Kain stated, not looking in his brother's direction.
"ITS WRONG, KAIN! I hate this! I hate what we're doing to Prydain! I hate what we have become!" Cecil shouted, angry tears marring his face.
"You think I don't?" Kain responded.
"Not once have you ever questioned him, Kain. Do you really think what he is doing is right?" Cecil asked.
"No," Kain responded as he walked toward his adopted brother.
"So why aren't we doing anything?" Cecil asked.
"With what resources? The Horned King knows us better than we know ourselves. He holds all the cards. I must be patient, I must wait for the right time even if it takes me the rest of my life. Even if I am not the one to do the deed, I will stop the Horned King," Kain declared.
"You never told me these things before. Why now?" Cecil asked.
Kain moved his head so he could whisper into Cecil's ear. "Who do you think ordered the attack on the Highwinds in the first place?"
Cecil backed away, shocked. "Are you sure?"
Kain nodded and continued his walk toward the courtyard of the castle. "We are not his sons, Cecil. We're his prisoners."
In want to thank MysteryGirl7Freak for all her help with fixing my grammar and Prismrain13 for her permsion. Thank you both of you, your both amazing people.
Final Fantasy 4 = Cecil, Kain and Golbez
Black Cauldron = Horned King, Creeper, King Eidilleg
Prydain Chronicles = Angharad (Eilonwy's Mother)
OC's Duke Harry (Eilonwy's Grandfarther) King Sora Llyr the First (Eilonwy's Ancestor) Richard Stormwax
Cecil's Limit Break = Knights Disdain