The streets were bustling with people. It was to be expected since today was the 350th anniversary of this small, but prosperous kingdom that existed in this cruel world.
A small heaven where people could trade freely, where there were no fights and no slaves, and there was enough food as well as houses. You could find work easily if you had just arrived and had no money left after the long travel.
You would be compelled to say that such a kingdom did not exist, since the world itself did not permit it, but here we were, celebrating 350 years after the creation of this sweet peace.
Let me guide you.
Although what we are talking about is a kingdom, it wasn that big. Besides the Capital, there were only a few small cities.
What you would see would be the biggest city, which also served as its capital, surrounded by mighty forests and walls.
Since the city was divided by another couple of walls, lets start with the outer district. Here we could see the main gate that was heavily guarded in case of some beast came from the forest. But that rarely happened nowadays, so don worry too much.
Passing by captain John reprimanding a couple of new recruits. Even though he sounded way harsher than he intended to, he was a good man, loved by all his subordinates.
Lots of people are entering the city carrying bags, cars, and many other things. Theres even a skinny teen that has just arrived, with a determined look to become someone big like the stories that the old foggies are telling the children about the past king.
If we passed by a few houses and plazas, we could see old man Marco, one of the best storytellers of the neighborhood, sitting in front of a fountain and telling jokes to the mass of children. You could also hear the name of the king being mentioned by him.
You are slow! Lets make haste, there was not so much time left from the day and I also had to go home to see my kids.
Starting with the inner district, we found a significant upgrade compared with the outer district: inns, mercantile companies, knights, etc. Here was the place for the wealthy people, but also for the ones with history. That was proven by the presence of the Browne family in the middle of negotiating something shady with an overweight man with a sly smile on his face.
Sigh, I would have to do something about that, but lets leave it for another day. The sun had already started to lower itself, so I needed to hurry. After passing the last walls, we found ourselves in front of the new castle.
Its nothing that fancy, mostly made of wood and stone. The last wall was built with the scope of keeping this mansion-like castle safe.
There are also few people passing by, mostly servants that had to clean here periodically. But, if we go around the entrance, after walking for a while, we could find an abandoned garden.
What was once one of the most gorgeous flower gardens, now laid in a mixture of unrecognizable plants. There were even some fruit trees that had grown in the wrong direction. They had a rough texture, maybe because of the passage of time.
If we looked towards the castle, we could find a part of the wall collapsed and fragments of stone and the roots of a tree scattered in half of the visible room. From the depths of the rooms, came the sound of a roughed and muffled breath. Just one.
There you could see the outline of a half-collapsed throne and what seemed like the corpse of a human lying on it. That was Him!
A wrinkled face, long white hair, and a dried body. The people praised him as the one and only king that this forgotten world had truly managed to know. Its a hard world to live in, one that even the gods had long since abandoned.
There came another breath! There is no doubt that he was still alive, but why was he there? Why was nobody helping him? What was he eating? What was he drinking? Could he sleep well during the night?
Why… was he staying there for so long? I had lost count of how many kids I raised till now….
”Hmm…Is that….you…Sam? ”
But nobody replied. All that the dying king could see was a small flower at his feet and a petite bird that was looking at him from atop the crumbled wall.
As always, it would set off as the sun was going down. Time passed, and even it had children to return to.
Yes, like always…
A set of steps came from nowhere, scaring the bird away. Steps that haven been heard for ages in this forgotten corner of the palace.
The King slowly lifted his eyes and looked at his uninvited guest. A youth in his prime stood on the rubble and was looking down at him. At his hips was a sword. And the sword had a symbol that it was impossible not to recognize even with his poor sight.
”Why… do..you…have….it? ”
A wooden wolfs head. The gift that he made for her. The last one before being trapped in this cursed place.
The youth was about to reply, but he stopped. There was no reason to. The king had finally found peace, leaving behind a small tray of light that made its way to the youths chest.
”May he rest in peace. ”
After bowing his head to the remains of the king, the youth took off on yet another adventure.
With the kings death, the 2-3 meters magic crystal that was in the depths of the castle shattered. And as if sensing something, one bird from the flock started crying and turned its way around, returning in a hurry to the kings side.
But it was in vain, as the previous hole in the wall disappeared, sealing the kings body inside for his eternal rest.
Authors note: This is the end of the book, not the start of it.
I leave this flower as a memento for the man who was the main character for my very first novel as a child.
Everyone will eventually die, but the characters of a book will live to tell the story again to yet another reader.
I thank thee, who was my knight and my guide as a child, may you live another life as somebody elses hero.
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